Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

[⊝ not streamed] Rural monetisation in Medieval Denmark in the light of detoctor finds

Sep 16, 2022, 2:40 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall C

Auditorium Maximum - Hall C


Jens Ch. Moesgaard (Stockholm Numismatic Institute, Stockholm University)


The popular image of the medieval peasant is that he or she did not use coins. Nevertheless, written sources show that rents and taxes were paid by the common people in cash, alongside payments made in kind. Finds from rural church floors show that they had coins in the church. But what about everyday life? Until a generation ago, not much evidence was available, but now metal detector finds are increasing rapidly in Denmark where a solid collaboration with official archaeologists has been established since the late 1970s. Based on my recent case-study of western Zeeland, the detector finds now show that coin finds have been recorded in every rural parish. They were absent only where no detection had taken place. Most finds post-date the mid-13th c. Many came to light in fields outside villages, suggesting widespread daily peasant coin use. In conclusion, the detector finds show a profound monetisation of the countryside.

Primary author

Jens Ch. Moesgaard (Stockholm Numismatic Institute, Stockholm University)

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