Non-agrarian economic activities in the Norwegian Middle Ages. Were they free of conflicts? The author's starting point is the publication "Conflicts in the Middle Ages" where she finds that hardly any attention was paid to economic factors. Archaeological investigations during many years have revealed varied and comprehensive non-agrarian activities from the late 10th century onwards, increasing in the eleventh and twelfth and decreasing from the thirteenth century. The social elite, including the Roman Catholic Church was in great need to secure their supplies of strategic commodities, exemplified here by ship- building. The activities are briefly described: Iron extraction; stone-quarrying; large-scale hunting of reindeer and elk/moose, which may be traced in archaeological findings, while other preys like deer, seals and fur-bearing animals have hardly left any recognisable traces. The activities were organised in different ways, and they have influenced both the economy and organisation of society. Landowners with the rights to exploitation were frequently elite members of society or clerical institutions. Medieval history will benefit much from including the non-agrarian activities into general research.
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Opphavsrett 2021 Irmelin Martens