Vadas Ferenc (szerk.): A Wosinszky Mór Múzeum Évkönyve 15. (Szekszárd, 1990)

Handelsbeziehungen - Johann Callmer: The beginning of the Easteuropean trade connections of Scandinavia and the Baltic Region in the eighth and ninth centuries A. D.

important type of exchange was exchange and gift giving between individuals or families of high rank and between these high ranking families and individuals and their followers and retainers (Callmer 1988 265). In the archaeological record we must now consider which materials could indicate long distance trade relations and which cannot (often only the fact that an object is from a distant region qualifies an object to be classified as a trade mate­rial). We must also consider which materials may primarily be connected with trade and which may secondarily enter the sphere of gifts and exchange and pos­sibly also the tribute sphere. A necessary basis for the definition of trade materials is also the sorting out of products from a distant production locus. This procedure can in some cases be carried out with the help of chemical or physical analysis which proves that a certain material is produced in a distant region (e. g. Webb 1974 359f). In reality however we must in the vast majority of the cases contend ourselves with a simple but detailed inspection of the physical attributes of an object to determine whether it is local or not. Production organization like serial production with standardized technique and design and specialized skill are fac­tors which are very important when we try to classify finds as trade materials. An additional factor of great significance is the estimated volume of production and the frequency of the finds. Trade material in many cases produced in much larger numbers than material produced directly for giftexchange of the type referred to above, allthough objects of the latter type could be of high quality. There is through the history of old World center-periphery relationships in the first millennium A. D. a certain consistency in the basic categories of long dis­tance trade and exchange materials used (Kossack 1974). These categories are in many cases also the same categories which are prominent in more recent studies of center-periphery relationships. This stability suggests that these commodities in a special way answer to needs in this given relationship. The list includes high qual­ity weapons both offensive and defensive. Equipment for horseriding is important in many cases. There are also vessels of glass and metal for ceremonial purposes or for high style life. Items of dress are important. Especially high quality embroi­dered and dyed textiles play an important role. Dress ornaments are also fre­quently to be noted. They include beads of amber, semi-precious stones and glass and rings, necklaces and fibulae of different sorts. Was there any trade in the seventh and eighth centuries in the Baltic region? Finds from Sweden and to some extent also from elsewhere give us a certain basis for answering this question for the seventh century. The production of Scandinav­ian, Finnish and East Baltic bronze jewellery continues and this presupposes a steady flow of bronze from the west. Also gold and to a certain extent also silver continued to be imported. The inflow of western high quality textiles could also be demonstrated (Bender Jorgensen 1986 167). The glassfinds especially from main­land Sweden and Gotland gives us a good idea of the continued import of Westeu­ropean glass to the Baltic region. It is not unlikely that some of these products were brought to Scandinavia not as trade material but as commodities exchanged bet­ween petty kings and lords. It is however most unlikely that the general spread of raw material and goods from the West to the Baltic was the result of this process only. Although these trade connections were substained throughout the seventh century it must be pointed out that they probably declined considerably in rela­tionship to the preceding century. 20