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Viking Congress 1985 – Larkollen, Norway




Studies of human activities in the Viking Period Norway from the northern mountains to the Göta river on the eastern side of the Oslo Fjord and down to Rygjarbit on the western side – ancient Viken.


His Majesty King Olav V.

Organising Committee:

Charlotte Blindheim, Martin Blindheim, Erling Johansen, Eyvind Fjeld Halvorsen, Finn Hødnebø.

Secretaries: Birthe Weber, Karin Knoph.

National Representatives:





Sweden: Björn Ambrosiani, Helmer Gustavson


Delegates of the Congress:


Colleen E. Batey, Helen Clarke, Christine E. Fell, Ian Fisher, Peter G. Foote, James A. Graham-Campbell, Richard A. Hall, James Lang, Sue Margeson, Christopher D. Morris, Raymond I. Page, Diana C. Whaley, Sir David Wilson.


Hans Bekker-Nielsen, Kirsten Bendixen, Gillian Fellows-Jensen, Ole Fenger, Jørgen Højgaard Jørgensen, Niels Lund, Hans Frede Nielsen, Olaf Olsen, Else Roesdahl, Preben Meulengracht Sørensen.

The Faroes

Arne Thorsteinsson.


Aðalbjörg V. Karlsdóttir, Bjarni Einarsson, Guðmundur  Ólafsson, Ólafur Halldórsson.


Thomas Fanning, Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Patrick Wallace.


Per Sveaas Andersen, Charlotte Blindheim, Martin Blindheim, Olav Bø, Signe Horn Fuglesang, Eyvind Fjeld Halvorsen, Finn Hødnebø, Erling Johansen, Sigrid H.H. Kaland, James E. Knirk, Ingegerd Larsen, Irmelin Martens, Gerd Stamsø Munch, Else Mundal, Heid Gjøstein Resi, Magnus Rindal, Gro Steinsland, Birthe Weber.


Björn Ambrosiani, Birgit Arrhenius, Gösta Berg, Anne-Sofie Gräslund, Helmer Gustavson, Else Nordahl, Karl Inge Sandred, Lena Thunmark-Nylén.


Einar Haugen, Eva Haugen.


Vestfold, Borro; Fredrikstad and Isegran; Boat trip to Bohuslän.


Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse, Mr. Richard Fuglesang, Fredrikstad Brewery, Hafslund Inc., Town Council of Fredrikstad, Town Council of Tønsberg, Norsk Arkeologisk Selskap, Uddevalla Museum, SAS, Universitetets Oldsaksamling.


The Proceedings were published as a festschrift to Charlotte Blindheim for her 70th birthday, July 6th 1987.

Congress Diary:

The Organising committee of the Tenth Viking Congress chose as the main topic for discussion studies of human activities in the Viking period in Eastern Norway from the northern mountains down to the Göta River on the eastern side of the Oslo Fjord and down to Rygjarbit on the western side – ancient Viken.

The Støtvig Hotel at Larkollen in Østfold County, on the eastern side of the Oslo Fjord, was chosen as the centre for the conference. From this sea-side location the congress took interesting day-long excursions. One crossed the fjord to Vestfold County with the highlights of the trip being the king’s barrows at Borre, the mighty stone barrows at Mølen at the southern tip of the county, and between these the town of Tønsberg, the home of a Viking thing at Møllebakken and a medieval mountain fortress at Tunsberghus. A short excursion was made to Fredrikstad with its Old Town and the historic island Isegran in the river Glomma. A long excursion took the members of the congress south, to the coastal landscape of Bohuslän with all its prehistoric monuments.

Not all members of the congress from Ireland, Great Britain, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway could contribute to Viking Age problems in the Viken area of Eastern Norway. Studies of similar kind from other parts of Norway or the Norse areas in the Atlantic were welcomed, as were Viking topics from other parts of the Viking world.

At the end of the conference the Organising committee was happy to announce that all papers would be printed in a volume of proceedings, if delivered in due time and according to editorial instructions. All papers but two are published in this volume. The announcement of publication was followed by a most welcome invitation to a congress in Caithness and the Orkney Islands in four years.

The Organising committee and the members of the congress wish to express their deep gratitude first of all to His Majesty King Olav V for his patronage of the congress. Sincere thanks are also due to the institutions and persons who in different ways helped make the congress a success. The Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse and Mr. Richard Fuglesang generously made the «conquering» of Bohuslän by boat possible. The rough sea was made tolerable through a contribution by the Fredrikstad Brewery.

The congress was hospitably received by Hafslund Inc. at Hafslund Manor, by the Lord Mayor and the Town Council of Fredrikstad at Isegran, by the Lord Mayor and Town Council of Tønsberg at Teie Manor, by the Norsk Arkeologisk Selskap at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, by the Uddevalla Museum at Uddevalla, Bohuslän, and, above all, by the Scandinavian Airlines System, who gave a most splendid farewell dinner at the Støtvig Hotel.

A heavy burden was lifted from the shoulders of the Organising committee when the executive council and the committee for publications of Universitetets Oldsaksamling in Oslo decided, after the congress, to contribute to Viking studies by printing the papers delivered at Støtvig in one of the museum’s series.

Special thanks must be expressed to the secretary of the congress, Birthe Weber, and the assistant secretary, Karin Knoph, both from the Medieval Department of Universitetets Oldsaksamling.

For the Organising committee

Martin Blindheim

Congress Proceedings:

Proceedings of the Tenth Viking Congress. Larkollen, Norway, 1985. In. (ed. James Knirk) Universitetets Oldsaksamlings Skrifter. Ny rekke. Nr. 9. Oslo 1987.


To Charlotte Blindheim on her 70th birthday9
Tabula Gratulatoria3
The Tenth Viking Congress, Larkollen 198521
 Introduction. By Charlotte Blindheim 27
Finn Hødnebø. Who Were the First Vikings?43
Eyvind Fjeld Halvorsen. East Norway in the Sagas55
Irmelin Martens. Iron Extraction, Settlement and Trade in the Viking andEarly Middle Ages in SouthNorway. 69
Anne-Sofie Gräslund. Pagan and Christian in the Age of Conversion.81
Heid Gjøstein Resi. Reflections on Viking Age Local Trade in Stone Products.   95
Birthe Weber. Vesle Hjerkinn – A Viking AgeMountainLodge?:A preliminary report 103
Christopher D. Morris. The Brough of Deerness, Orkney.Excavations 1975-7: Summary Report. 113
Colleen E. Batey. Viking and Late Norse Caithness:The Archaeological Evidence. 131
Gerd Stamsø MunchOlav Sverre Johansen and Ingegerd Larssen.Borg in Lofoten. A chieftain’s farm in arctic Norway. 149
Sigrid H.H. Kaland. Viking/Medieval Settlement in the Heathland Areaof Nordhordland 171
James E. Knirk. Recently Found Runestones from Toten and Ringerike191
Martin Blindheim. The Ranuaik Reliquary in Copenhagen: A short study.203
SigneHorn Fuglesang. «The Personal Touch.» On the identificationof workshops. 219
James Graham-Campbell. Western Penannular Brooches and TheirViking Age Copies in Norway: a new classification. 231
Björn Ambrosiani. Royal Manors and Towns in Central Sweden247
Niels Lund. Peace and Non-Peace in the Viking Age – Ottar in Biarmaland,the Rus in Byzantium, and Danes and Norwegians in England. 255
Patrick F. Wallace. The Layout of Later Viking Age Dublin: Indicationsof its regulation and problems of continuity. 271
Donnchadh Ó Corráin. The Semantic Development of Old Norse Jarlin Old and Middle Irish. 287
Gillian Fellows-Jensen. The Vikings’ Relationship with Christianity in theBritish Isles: the evidence of place-names containing the element kirkja. 295
Karl Inge Sandred. The Vikings in Norfolk: Some Observations on thePlace-Names in –by. 309
Diana Whaley. The Miracles of S. Olaf in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla.325
Gudmundur Ólafsson. Þingnes by Elliðavatn: The First Local Assemblyin Iceland?  343
Bibliography of Charlotte Blindheim’s Publications 1939-1987 Compiledby Diana Stensdal 351