Archaeologia Maris Baltici et Septentrionalis

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Hanseatic Trade in the North Atlantic

Computer simulation of the anchorage of the Hanseatic trade post of Avaldnes (source: Avaldsnes and the Hanseatic League Facebook Group)

On 28. May – 1. June 2013 the conference Hanseatic Trade in the North Atlantic became the venue for archaeologists and historians from Austria, Denmark (i.e. the Faroese Islands), Germany, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom (incl. the Shetland Islands) and the United States. The occasion for the location and theme of this conference was prompted by the recent discovery of a Hanseatic trading post and a shipwreck in Avaldsnes, some 100 km further south to Bergen. While historical sources remain mute on this trading post, highlighting instead the importance of the Tyskebryggen in Bergen, an international team of archaeologists under the direction of Natascha Mehler (University of Vienna) and Endre Elvestad (Maritime Museum Stavanger) drew attention to this site, proving that surprising new discoveries can be made in the field of historical archaeology, despite the written record is comparatively good for this period. “Hanse Archaeology” itself is a new chapter and set new impulses for Hanse historians for re-evaluation of the sources in the light of these new discoveries. The symbiosis of archaeology and history proved once again interesting and necessary, although the opening statement by the Hanse historian Stuart Jenks on “Interdisciplinary: Who are we kidding?” pinpointed the many pitfalls in pooling two fields dedicated to the same period of interest, but seperated by distinctive methodologies and approaches. Click here to view the conference flyer.

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