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Information Letter 5 (12 Sep, 2002): Lecture of Aug 28 (Endre Elvestad)
Attachments:
Avaldsnes.doc
Fig2Land.jpg
Fig3Grave goods.jpg
Fig4Church.jpg
Fig5Siegburg.jpg
Fig6Rubbish.jpg
Fig7Pier.jpg
Fig8Mooring.jpg
Fig9House-remains.jpg
Fig10Flint.jpg
Fig11Bricks.jpg
Fig12Wreck.jpg

Dear participants,

How are you?
We were very pleased to see you at Avaldsnes and Visnes. You looked even better than on the photographs (which is probably not the case for Endre and myself)!

Attached you will find a lecture in the form of an article. The content covers what Endre Elvestad talked about at Visnes (about the Avaldnes coastal area), but in a somewhat extended form. Attached you will also find pictures to go with the lecture. Important: there is one picture missing: No. 1 (supposed to ahve showed a map of the area).

Please read through the text.

You should also study the most relevant parts of the report ”Coastal Cultural Heritage – the challenges and proposals”. In fact, most of the report is highly relevant. I particularly refer to headlines like ”How can we cope with the pressure on coastal cultural environments”? and ”How can we safeguard coastal environments threatened by depopulation?” In the chapter ”Coast-related activites” there are sub-headlines like ”Fishing”, ”Shipping, ports, boat- and shipbuilding”, ”Lighthouses, harbours pilot services”, ”Recreation and tourism”. The report has also interesting descriptions of different coastal regions (the first of the three regions covers also your own part of Northwestern Germany).

Introduction to lecture:
Avaldsnes has without doubt been an important place on the West Coast of Norway from the Iron Age to the early modern period. It’s tempting to suggest that the strategic position along the fairway and the harbour facilities was the main reason for this. The symbols of power displayed in the landscape are expressions of a maritime power and economy. Iron Age ports like this are often described as ports of trade: a neutral area under the control of an authority that guaranteed peace and protection against sea robbery, kept the justice, provided storing houses, anchorage and landing places and prescribed regulations for trade. In return the authorities collected tribute from the sailing merchants, and used the market to distribute their own surplus of goods. There are at the present vague indications of trade at Avaldsnes in the Iron Age, but it seems reasonable that the harbour had many of these functions. It’s tempting to replace the term port of trade with the term port of power until further evidence is found.
The archaeological finds suggest a similar system in the Middle Ages. Finds of pier constructions, ballast and imported goods are clear evidence of overseas trade. Both written and archaeological sources indicate that the Norwegian kings and later the Hanseatic merchants controlled the harbour and regulated the trade.

dddaatland

 
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