Tools and Textile Production in the North Atlantic

Ingvild Øye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Introduction: Wool, yarn and textiles stand out as trademarks and special properties of the North Atlantic area –
a legacy that dates back to the Viking period. Throughout this area, vaðmál was also a standard
economic measure: commodity ‘money’, used for taxation and exchange in the Middle Ages. This system
is best documented and lasted longest in Iceland, where production was also the greatest.
During recent decades, several disciplines – archaeology, history, zoo-archaeology and environmental
archaeology – have significantly contributed to knowledge about textile production in the Viking Age and
Middle Ages. Based on archaeological and other types of evidence, together with the results of
multidisciplinary projects, this paper discusses the scale and degree of standardisation in textile
production in this area from the Viking Age into the Middle Ages. When did it start and how did it
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShetland and the Viking World
Subtitle of host publicationPapers from the Proceedings of the Seventeenth Viking Congress
EditorsV. Turner, O. Owen, D. Vaugh
Place of PublicationLerwick
Publisher Shetland Heritage Publications
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print) 9780993274039
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • textile production
  • tools
  • North Atlantic
  • Viking age
  • farming
  • history


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