Borgund kaupang
Borgund Kaupang Prosjektet


BKP har et bredt lag med forskere som vil ta for seg del-studier av ulik varighet


Iron Processing and Consumption in Borgund


En stor andel av de arkeologiske funnene fra Borgundgravningene er slagg, samt redskaper og gjenstander av jern. PhD-prosjektet på jern skal studere jernbearbejding og –forbruk i Borgund: hvilke jernbearbeidingsprosesser fant sted i Borgund, og hvordan var gjenstander av jern viktige i Borgunds økonomi? Siktemålet for studien er en dypere forståelse av sentrale aspekter av Borgunds økonomi i tillegg til å undersøke sosiale og økonomiske dynamikker rundt raffinering av utmarksresurser for hjemlige og internasjonale markeder.

Brita Hope



Gitte Hansen, arkeologi, professor, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen, Avdeling for kultur, Universitetet i Bergen, Norge


Randi Barndon, arkeologi, professor, Institutt for arkeologi, historie- kultur- og religionsvitenskap (AHKR), Universitetet i Bergen, Norge

Bernt Rundberget, arkeologi, instituttleder, Institutt for arkeologi og kulturhistorie, NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet, Norge

Social Approaches to the Consumption of Household Wares of Soapstone and Pottery in the Borgund Kaupang in a Long Term Perspective


En stor andel av de arkeologiske funnene fra Borgundgravningene er skår av kar av kleberstein og importert keramikk. PhD prosjektet skal studere sosiale aspekter av forbruk av kleber- og keramikkkar i Borgund i et langtidsperspektiv. Stikkord er livsstil, sosial identiteter, kulturelle og økonomiske nettverk på lokale, nasjonale og internasjonale nivå. Siktemålet for studien er å få en dypere forståelse av Borgunds deltagelse og posisjon i sosiale, kulturelle og økonomiske nettverk, lokalt, regionalt og internasjonalt.

Mathias Blobel



Gitte Hansen, arkeologi, professor, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen, Avdeling for kultur, Universitetet i Bergen, Norge


Natascha Mehler, arkeologi, Prof. Dr., Universität Tübingen, Abteilung für Archäologie des Mittelalters, Tyskland

Ramona Harrison, zooarkeologi, førsteamanuensis, Institutt for arkeologi, historie- kultur- og religionsvitenskap (AHKR), Universitetet i Bergen, Norge

The Consumption and Procurement of Timber and Stone for Buildings and Constructions in Borgund

Large scale production and consumption of marble-stone for churches and timber for houses and infrastructure is witnessed in Borgund. Where did Borgund procure these raw materials? Sourcing the raw materials and studying land ownership to the raw-materials give new insights into Borgund’s contacts in local networks and help characterise the place in terms of influential actors. This study implements building archaeological studies, studies of ownership to land through documentary evidence, dendro-provenance on wooden structures and geological identification of relevant local marble sources for the 12th c. stone churches.

Alf Tore Hommedal, Per Storemyr and Tom Heldal

Churches in the Landscape. A Study of the Religious Environment of the Borgund Kaupang

The focus will be the religious topography of the ‘failed’ urban settlement of the Borgund Kaupang seen in relation to the larger religious topography both local and within the diocese of Bergen. The religious environment will be studied through material, pictorial and written sources.

Henning Laugerud

Destruction as Creation

Borgund seems to have gone through several re-developments, where great land-in fillings form the basis for new arrangements. This study explores destruction as a means to renegotiate and re-define places with Borgund as a case.

Gitte Hansen

Owners of Property at Borgund and Its Regional Surroundings 

In this study literary sources: sagas, taxation documents etc.  will be addressed to uncover categories of land owners, and potential influencing families in the district of Borgund. This will serve as contextual information when characterizing the small town.

Geir Atle Ersland

Making Sense of Decline: Narratives About the End of Cities and Places of Trade

The medieval frames of understanding and narrating the end of communities and cities, such as the Borgund kaupang, as they are represented and disseminated in medieval texts. This will put the archaeological findings from Borgund into context and perspective.

Jens Eike Schnall

Small Scale Producers of Affordable Crafts

Production waste and tools from working antler, leather and nonferrous metals will be studied and Borgund’s crafts production and consumption of personal accessories involving both domestic and imported raw materials is seen in a North European context.

Gitte Hansen

Townspeople and Visitors

Tools of trade: tally sticks, weights, balances etc. and div. personal accessories: shoes with silk embroideries, combs, keys, walrus ivory gaming pieces and other one-of-a-kind objects will be studied and the methodological challenges of distinguishing between visitors and townspeople as consumers of material culture will be explored.

Gitte Hansen

The Demographic Composition of Townspeople at Borgund

The consumption of gender specific objects (including shoes, i.e. shoe sizes) will be studied to uncover the demographical composition of the population.

Gitte Hansen and Sigrid S. Mygland

Fragments of Lifestories - Burials and Human Remains from Borgund

Prosjektet tar utgangspunkt i graver og humanosteologiske levninger fra to kristne gravplasser på Borgund. En viktig del av studien er identifikasjon av alle humane levninger, enkeltindivider og graver, og å bedømme alders- og kjønnssammensetningen i materialet og forekomsten av helseindikatorer i skjelettet. Studien kombinerer bioarkeologiske data med arkeologisk dokumentasjon og kontekstinformasjon.  Sentrale spørsmål er: Hvem ble gravlagt på Borgund, hvor kom de fra, hvilke levekår hadde de og hvordan behandlet de og gravla sine døde?

Katharina Lorvik

Borgund’s Role in North Atlantic Networks, and the Borgund Townspeople’s Social Standing

A select number of the c 130 textiles from the site will be classified and assessed in relation to both local textile traditions and North Atlantic ones. Documentary sources hint at a significant amount of medieval Icelandic and North Atlantic cloth making its way to Norway in the form of either taxes or trade goods. Textile analyses and strontium isotope studies will help track the likely sources of wool, a to address roles of international trade connections vis-a-vis local production in clothing Borgund's townspeople or in trading wool or textiles out to other Norwegian towns (e.g. Bergen) or beyond. Dating of textiles will be used to identify trends through time in trade and production patterns

Michèle Hayeur Smith

Borgund’s Role in National Distribution Networks for the Trade in, and Consumption of Norwegian Hones

Was Borgund a hub in a trade network for Norwegian hones? And what were the hones used for at Borgund? In the Viking Age and Middle Ages, two major types of schist were sought after as raw-material for hones, schist from Eidsborg in south-eastern Norway and schist of a Caledonian type – also this most likely from Norway. The products are well known in northern Europe (Haithabu, Ribe etc.), but how was the distribution and use of these products within Norway? C. 400 hones from Borgund will be classified and the stone identified using archaeological classification methods, ocular geological methods as well as ICP-MS analyses (geochemistry) on targeted specimen.

Irene Baug and Øystein J. Jansen

Archaeological Bird Remains From Norway as a Means to Identify Long-term Patterns in a Northern European Avifauna

Samuel J. Walker will analyse faunal materials (bones of domesticated and wild birds) from Borgund as part of his PhD project 

Weaving the Vikings’ Life Insurance

In this study Varafell textiles from Borgund are reconstructed through experimental weaving by trained craftspeople. Varafell-textiles, used as a cloak by seafarers as protection from rain and the cold, are a known export article from Iceland. Norway’s first known examples are identified in the Borgund Kaupang collections. The technological systems and influences behind the Varafell  textiles from Borgund will be seen in a North Atlantic context, to uncover economic and cultural networks of the townspeople.

Monika Ravnanger and Marta Kløve Juul

Species Identification of Leather Used in Viking Age Shoes at the Borgund Kaupang

Using microscopy-based methods on hair morphology, animal species are identified in leather used for shoes. Practical properties as well as symbolic connotations of the identified leather types are discussed.

Heidi A. Haugene

The Beacon of Knowledge. The Coastal Defence Organization of Fire Warning Beacons Around the City of Borgund in the Middle Ages

Through written sources from the old sagas and laws we know that some form of signalling with the use of fire warning beacons was organized as early as the Viking period. Along with the Levy this organisation was developed to be an important system for in the medival military coastal defence. These systems was particularly important around towns and in relation to the leidang. Around Borgund there is a network of place names that can resemble this function, and together with the relation to the boathouses at Borgund and the written sources the aim of the study is to better understand the organization of an early coastal defence system.  

Arve Eiken Nytun

Community and Social Networks in Viking Age and Medieval Møre

Borgund was a central place for the ‘Mœrir’ community, which inhabited the coastal lands which now lie in Møre og Romsdal. This is one of the most frequently mentioned regional communities in Old Norse literature from the tenth century to the thirteenth. This study analyses these appearances along with the distribution of local central places in order to explore the strategic role of the community in political developments of the Viking Age and medieval period, considering its position with coastal and interior communication networks. It also considers the role played by members of the community within the social networks described by the Kings’ sagas.

Benjamin Allport


Playing in Time, Playing With Time. Board Games, Exchange, Identity and Temporalities: Entangled Material Cultures in Medieval Borgund

This element of the Project will seek to explore the evidence of board game practices in Borgund, situating them in a wider European context and assessing their cultural, metaphorical and play significances.

Mark A. Hall

An Investigation into Possible Local Production of Ceramics at Borgund Kaupang

This sub-study aims to examine the long-held notion that there was no pottery production in Norway in the Middle Ages. Selected sherds of roughly-made cooking and/or storage vessels from Borgund will be subjected to XRF-analysis in order to obtain a “fingerprint” of trace elements. The results can then be compared to the fingerprints of samples obtained from local clay sources to determine degree of correspondence

Rory Dunlop

Religion in the every-day life. A Study of the Religious Environment of the Borgund Kaupang

The focus of this study will be on the material aspects of the religious life of the people in Borgund. That means a “mapping” and a contextual study of the physical remnants of the devotional culture(s) that might be found in Borgund. In addition to the ecclesiastical “landscape” of churches and churchyards, the main focus will be on objects found in graves, and or near the churches and churchyards, like pearls, coins and other possible objects (like the porphyry-stones found during the excavations) and traces of the religion in the every-day life of the people of Borgund. 

Henning Laugerud

Spinnehjul i lavbrent keramikk fra Borgundkaupangen

I Borgund er det funnet rundt 50 spinnehjul av 'lavbrent leire', en form for keramikk. Arkeologiske spor tyder på at spinnehjulene kan være laget i Borgund. Det har lenge vært en vedtatt sannhet at en ikke hadde en hjemlig keramikkproduksjon i Norge i middelalderen. Prosjektets hovedoppgave er å finne ut om hjulene ble laget i Borgund og å drøfte sosiale og økonomiske aspekter ved produksjonen av spinnehjulene.

Kristin Ersdal Edland



Gitte Hansen, arkeologi, professor, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen, Avdeling for kultur, Universitetet i Bergen, Norge


Randi Barndon, arkeologi, professor, Institutt for arkeologi, historie- kultur- og religionsvitenskap (AHKR), Universitetet i Bergen, Norge

Borgund, old bones—new methods—extended histories


Fiskebeina fra Borgund danner grunnlaget for denne analysen, og er en del av arbeidet med et pågående PhD prosjekt på NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet. Fiskebeina vil bli analysert for å identifisere trender i ulike tidsperioder, og se etter endringer over tid. Videre vil materialet bli analysert innenfor et forbruker - produsent perspektiv, altså om fiskebeina fra Borgund indikerer at fisken ble konsumert lokalt eller foredlet for videre handel. Som en del av studien vil stabile isotop analyser være vesentlig for å identifisere fisk fra og til Borgund på lokaliteter i Trondheim, Bergen og det arktiske Nord, og slik gi anledning til å plassere Borgund i en nasjonal og internasjonal kontekst.

Monica Nordanger Enehaug



Bernt Rundberget, arkeologi, Ph.D., Head of Department of Archaeology and Cultural History, NTNU University Museum, Norway

James H. Barrett, arkeologi, Professor II Dr., Department of Archaeology and Cultural History, NTNU University Museum, Norway/ Reader in Medieval Archaeology, Deputy Director, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Cambridge.


Gitte Hansen, arkeologi, professor, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen, Avdeling for kultur, Universitetet i Bergen, Norge

Brønnane ved Borgundkaupangen


Det er etter dei arkeologiske undersøkingane ved Borgundkaupangen blitt funne 27 brønnar.

Eg vil i prosjektet kategorisere brønnane, og finne ut kva funksjon dei har hatt på Borgund. Eg vil då sjå på korleis brønnane ligg i terrenget, for å definere kva dei har blitt brukte til i Borgund. Prosjektet vil også ta føre seg brønnane sin bruksperiode, og brønnens oppbygging. Eg vil derfor også undersøke om materialet etter brønnane kan ha vore gjenstand for sekundært bruk. Studiet vil også sjå på om brønnane har blitt brukte som latriner etter at dei gjekk ut av bruk. Ein studie av brønnane sitt innhald blir derfor gjort.

Jens Øvrestrand Rysjedal



Alf Tore Hommedal, Førsteamanuensis, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen, Avdeling for kulturhistorie


Visa Aleksis Immonen, Førsteamanuensis, Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Bergen

Bakstehellene fra Borgund


This sub-study centres on Borgunds' position in the commerce network of bakestones. Where were the bakestones quarried? Was Borgund solely a consumer site, or did it function as a transit port for further distribution of bakestones to nearby areas? The aim is to find whether the trade was directed south towards Bergen or north towards Trondheim and if there are any temporal changes. Additionally, the study investigates the grooves on the bakestones to discern if they can be used to differentiate workshops at the quarries. 

Martine Engvik


Nøklane til kaupangen

Ein kategori gjenstandar som det er funne mange av på Borgund, er nøklar og låsar. Desse gjenstandane er sterke symbol på makt og råderett over ressursar, men har også vore tolka som symbol på husfruerolla og kristendomen. Føremålet med dette studiet er å undersøke kva slags nøklar og låsar som vart brukt på Borgund-kaupangen, og vidare freiste å finne ut kva desse kan fortelje om funksjonen til staden, og om menneska som heldt til der. Eit ledd i prosjektet vil vere å samanlikne materialet frå Borgund med materialet frå mellomalderbyen Bergen.

Ambjørg Reinsnos