In March 2019, I started a new ERC Starting Grant project, ‘Silver and the Origins of the Viking Age’. I have a great team: Dr Stephen Merkel, an archaeomaterials expert specialising in silver (based at the University of Oxford), and Jani Oravisjärvi, a specialist in early medieval Islamic coins (based at the University of Oulu, Finland).
We are aiming to re-evaluate where, when and why the Viking Age began, through an interdisciplinary analysis of Viking silver. We are conducting lead isotope and trace element analysis of hundreds of Viking artefacts, enabling us to answer questions such as: where did the Vikings get their silver from? When did silver first reach Scandinavia and why was it so highly valued?
Full details of the project: its aims, scope and methods, can be found here.