Dirhams for Slaves. Dirham hoards from Northern Europe, trade in Slavic slaves, and the emergence of Medieval Europe.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oriental Institute

Abstract

Perhaps as many as one million dirhams, Islamic silver coins, have been found in hoards across Northern Europe. They travelled thousands of kilometres from the mints of Iraq and Central Asia to the Baltic island of Gotland, other lands around the Baltic and further on to England in the 9th and 10th centuries AD, when long-distance land communications are thought to have been virtually non-existent. The objective of this project is to explain and to evaluate the historical role of this unprecedented flow of silver.

It has so far received little scholarly attention. Even though it is accepted that dirham hoards reflect commercial exchanges between the Islamic world and non-Christian Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries, neither their mechanisms nor their historical significance have been subjected to scrutiny. The project will discuss whether Slavic slaves, rather than furs or forest produce, were the primary commodity sold in return for dirhams. Accounts of Arab geographers and travellers, comparative evidence of other long-distance slave trade systems and the analysis of the silver hoards will allow us to retrace the complex network of suppliers, intermediaries and consumers. We believe that it will be possible to detect archaeological traces, such as abrupt depopulation, that reflect the procurement of slaves.

It is currently unknown why this slave trade system drew to a halt. The answer, we think, will come from a study of the 11th-century trade between Scandinavia and the Slavic lands, evidenced by Anglo-Saxon and German coins which replaced dirhams in the Northern hoards. Does this reflect merely a change in the geography of the demand for slaves? Does it follow that Western European economies of the 11th century relied more heavily than usually thought on slave labour? If yes, the conceptual framework for the emergence of feudalism will need to be reconsidered.

Our study of this slave trade system will require us to address some major gaps in current scholarship. Firstly, we will investigate why the majority of coins hoarded in the Northern Lands was produced in Central Asia by Samanid emirs. Despite its pivotal role in the trade with the North, the Samanid dynasty has never been studied in its own right. We will produce the first scholarly monograph of this dynasty, which will clarify to what extent the Samanids were able to regulate the flow of dirhams to the Northern Lands. We will also explore their role in the collapse of the trade system after ca 950.

Secondly, a significant group of coins known from the Northern hoards has so far almost entirely escaped scholarly attention. These are known as dirham imitations. They represent an untapped historical source of significant potential, but also unusual complexity. They were probably issued by political powers controlling the principal ports of trade, such as the Khazars or the Volga Bulgars; the rationale for their production remains, however, unknown. We think that they hold the key to understanding the economic mechanisms of the slave trade. We will offer, for the first time, a catalogue of their principal types.

Finally, we will reassess the phenomenon of silver hoarding in Northern Europe. A comparative study of the archaeological contexts of hoards in Sweden, Russia and Poland, based on new research in these countries, will detect patterns of hoarding that will, in turn, clarify the reasons for hoarding and for the non-retrieval of the hoards.

These studies will result in a multifaceted picture of the trade system in Slavic slaves. Their implications will go beyond shedding light on an episode of medieval history. The project will substantially contribute to the study of the still neglected phenomenon of European medieval slavery. We will also test our hypothesis that the wealth derived from the sale of Slavic slaves enabled state formation in Northern Europe. If proved, it will offer a new perspective on the formative period of European history.

Planned Impact

The main themes of the project - slave trade, silver hoards, early European contacts with the Islamic world, the emergence of the European states - are likely to stimulate the interest of the wider public, both in the UK and abroad, in Europe and in the Islamic world. They will be relevant to students and teachers at all levels of education, as well as to the general public interested in history in a number of European countries.

We see the main impact of our project in reshaping, in the long run, some of the fundamental assumptions of our vision of the European Middle Ages. Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, very few attempts have been made to present an integrated history of the European continent and to assess mutual influences of the post-Roman world and the remaining part of the continent. The recent ground-breaking study of the origins of the European economy by Michael McCormick - who almost entirely disregarded Scandinavia and the Slavic lands - illustrates the difficulty involved in overcoming this divide. By showing the implications of the large-scale trade in Slavic slaves and the influence of the Islamic world on the formation of states in Northern Europe, this project will promote a more inclusive picture of European history and, as a result, significantly deepen our historical knowledge. It is also likely to elicit reflection on broader topics rooted in this formative period of European history, such as the forging of national identities.

This project will build upon and further stimulate the appetite for the early Middle Ages, and the Viking Age in particular. A major exhibition forthcoming in the British Museum and the fundraising campaigns, recent and planned, for the acquisition of recently discovered Viking-age hoards (Vale of York, Furness and Silverdale) by public museums attest to the continuous interest of the British public for this period. It is significant that, although all the three mentioned hoards contain Islamic dirhams, their presence did not provoke any comments. Our project will provide a coherent explanation for their presence in the British Isles and raise awareness of the complexity of cultural influences that shaped this country. We will also highlight the contribution of the Islamic world to early European history.

We will draw attention to urgent issues connected with the preservation of cultural heritage. Hoards of silver coins are an attractive target for amateur metal detecting. We will raise awareness of the imminent risk of losing unique information on our past by illustrating how contextualized information on dirham hoards can contribute to our knowledge. We will inform the discussions in Central and Eastern European countries aiming at implementing coherent policies towards metal detecting. We will voice our opinion that schemes modelled on the English Portable Antiquities Scheme would greatly contribute to the preservation of the European cultural heritage.

We will communicate the results of our research by means of an exhibition staged in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (described in the Pathways to Impact section). The project's website will allow the public to access project materials such as summaries of the workstreams, maps of hoards and photographs of coins, which can be used in courses on the Viking Age and on the Islamic world in schools and universities.

Our project will strengthen the reputation of British academia, and in particular of the University of Oxford, as the leading research centre with transformational potential in human sciences. The project's international dimension, involving cooperation with Central and Eastern European consultants, will reinforce Oxford's position as a leading forum for sharing ideas in Europe. At a more general level, the project will strengthen international links between the UK and Central and Eastern European countries, where the project is particularly likely to appeal to a wide audience.

Publications

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Jankowiak M (2017) What Does the Slave Trade in the Saqaliba Tell Us about Early Islamic Slavery? in International Journal of Middle East Studies

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Jankowiak M (2021) Classifying and interpreting Viking-Age dirham imitations in Nordisk Numismatisk Arskrift

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Jankowiak M (2014) Dirhams for slaves: an early medieval slave trade system in The Oxford Historian

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Jonathan Shepard (2016) Byzantium and the Viking world

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M Jankowiak (2016) Byzantium and the Viking World

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Shepard J (2016) Back in Old Rus and the USSR: Archaeology, History and Politics in The English Historical Review

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Shepard J (2018) The Global Middle Ages

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Treadwell, W.L. (2020) Who compiled and edited the Mashhad miscellany? in Al-usur al-wusta

 
Title Exhibition on Viking-Age coinage 8 June - 28 September 2015 
Description The exhibition (created by Treadwell and Jankowiak) consisted of a display of Viking-Age silver coinage and accompanying text panels (Coin hoards as evidence of trade and Islamic dirhams and imitational dirhams). A loan of fifty Viking Age coins was negotiated by Luke Treadwell on behalf of the Ashmolean from the Royal Coin Cabinet, Stockholm, Sweden. These coins were exhibited along with a unique medallion belonging to the Heberden Coin Room, Ashmolean Museum for 3.5 months in the Special Exhibitions case of the Coin Room Gallery, Ashmolean Museum and an 8-page leaflet produced to accompany it. The exhibition was opened by Keeper of the Coin Room and a public talk given at the opening by Dr Shepard (consultant to the project) for an audience of a hundred. The exhibition was highly praised by museum colleagues who rated it as one of the most successful special exhibitions mounted in the Coin Gallery. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The exhibition was open to the general public as well as the academic community and explained the aims and methods of the research project to a wide audience. 
 
Description The project consisted of several work strands, each of which has developed ideas that expand our understanding of the early medieval world.

1) Imitational coinage. We have gathered data on Viking-Age imitational coins from a wide range of sources, including hard-to-access printed sources and coin collections above all from the Royal Coin Cabinet in Stockholm. This data has been used to populate a database of imitational coinages which comprises c.10,000 entries. This material is of extreme complexity: the coins cannot be categorized according to classical criteria (mint, date, issuing authority) because they do not carry this information. We have developed a sophisticated methodology that will allow us to establish a typology of these coins, upon which our printed and online catalogue of dirham imitations, one of the major outcomes of the project, will be based. In order to better understand this material we convened a major conference on early medieval imitative coinages in the Royal Coin Cabinet in Stockholm in November 2015. The proceedings of the conference will be published in 2020/1 as a special issue of the Nordisk Numismatisk Arsskrift. We have reached a good understanding of why imitations were being produced. They were a key instrument for maintaining trade, especially the slave trade, between the Islamic world and Scandinavia/Slavic lands. This confirms our initial assumption that the establishment of their typology and chronology will transform our understanding of the mechanisms and chronology of trade.

2) Early medieval slave trade. We have developed our understanding of the early medieval slavery in all the cultural areas concerned by the project (Islamic world, Scandinavia, Slavic lands, Hungary, Byzantium), and of the slave trade between them. Conclusions will be summarized in a monograph in preparation by M Jankowiak. His contribution to the understanding of early medieval slavery has been recognised by the editors of the Cambridge World History of Slavery, who invited him to comment on the medieval volume of the series. The formative role of the slave trade in the Viking Age is increasingly being accepted as a paradigm that helps us to understand the relationship between the Islamic world and the northern lands.

3) Silver hoards. J Gruszczynski has developed a methodology to understand the spatial distribution of silver hoards in northern Europe, in particular on the Baltic island of Gotland. The central question is the relation of the hoards to settlement patterns. Even if the latter are still insufficiently well-known, the working hypothesis is that not all hoards were directly related to settlements, and some of them may have played a more symbolic role, e.g. as markers of boundaries. This conclusion was supported by Gotlandic archaeologists, with whom we discussed the question at a workshop in Oxford in March 2015. Gotland is the key to understanding Viking-Age monetary circulation in Scandinavia: we are now in a position to address the complexities of the issue and drive the subject forward. In January 2017 Jacek Gruszczynski was awarded his doctorate for his thesis entitled 'A comparative study of archaeological contexts of silver hoards c. 800-1050 in Northern and Central Europe'. His examiners noted that the thesis was 'of exceptional quality' and had dramatically altered the scholarly understanding of silver deposition and shaken up their conception of the ways and means by which silver circulated in the Viking Age. They concluded that 'nobody interested in the silver economies of the Viking Age can afford not to engage with Gruszyzynski's fascinating and important thesis, which should set the pace on the subject for some time to come' and urged that the thesis should be published 'as soon as possible. The thesis has been published as the first volume in the Routledge series 'Archaeologies of the Viking World'.

4) Samanids. Monograph currently in preparation by L Treadwell. The monograph will comprise a history of the dynasty from its previously unknown beginnings in the early 9th c. (now reconstructed largely on the basis of numismatic evidence) to its collapse at the end of the 10th c. when the Turkish Qarakhanid confederation conquered Transoxania. The study will include the religious, economic and political history of the dynasty, with the aim of showing how the southern terminus of the trade route studied by the project operated. The monetary and economy history of the dynasty, depending in part on research undertaken by project members on silver hoards and mint output, will play an important role in explicating the trajectory of the dynasty's political history.

Overall, as of March 202, the ideas generated by the project have been accepted by a significant body of historians and archaeologists working Byzantium, Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Slavic lands, and the early. Isl
Exploitation Route After completion of the second year of this three-year project, our preliminary findings were widely communicated to our colleagues in Oxford; they have been communicated to a broader academic audience at conferences and seminars in the UK (Leeds, St Andrews, London) and abroad (Oslo, Stockholm, Krakow, soon Princeton), and started to filter outwards to mass media. The view that the slave trade was a key driver behind the emergence of a new map of Europe in the 10th c. has gained some popularity in recent years, but has never been substantiated. Our project is, to our knowledge, the only project in Europe that deals with this question systematically. Its importance for historical science in general cannot thus be overestimated. In the course of our work we have come across a number of issues that may be of interest to broader constituencies. For example, we have identified several issues related to heritage management in Sweden. In our view, the current restrictive approach to amateur archaeology is detrimental to the preservation of Swedish cultural heritage, esp. hoards of precious metals. We hope to influence Swedish decision-makers to evolve towards a scheme modelled on the English Portable Antiquities Scheme. Also we have found that arrangements for the conservation of archaeological objects deter archaeologists from retrieving every-day objects from the ground and thus skew the archaeological record towards high-quality luxury objects, perpetuating a distorted image of Viking-Age material culture. Furthermore, the project is helping to encourage discussion in European academic circles of the importance of slavery and slave trade in early medieval Europe. Traditionally thought to correspond to the "ancient mode of production", slavery was until recently considered to be untypical for the early middle ages. Our research has begun to undermine this position by demonstrating the crucial role the slave trade played in the emergence of state structures in Northern Europe. This has implications on how historians and archaeologists interpret their findings. We tried to attract the attention of the latter to the necessity of including slavery in their interpretative frameworks at the very well-attended session on the 'Archaeology of early medieval slavery' at the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul in September 2014. The publication of the papers delivere in that session of the EAA are in the process of being published by Jankowiak and his co-editor.
Sectors Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/
 
Description The societal impact of the project lies in its contribution to the public understanding of the history of the Islamic world at a time when popular perceptions of the region in the UK are becoming ever more negative, driven by press focus on the deteriorating security situation in the Middle East. Our research will serve to remind the general public that the fate of the Islamic world has been intimately connected with the fate of Europe over the past millennium, in ways that have been integral to the development of Islamic civilisation as well as Europe. The material we are researching consists of a huge quantity of Islamic silver coinage that flowed northwestwards in the 10th century CE, from eastern Iran and western Central Asia along trade routes which linked the Middle East with European Russia, the Baltic states, Scandinavia and the British Isles. These coins were exchanged for raw materials (amber, fur, metalwork) and slaves that were imported into the Islamic world. The silver wealth that accumulated in Europe as a result of this trade was instrumental in stimulating early state formation and planting the seeds of political configurations that are still recognisable in today's world. Our research constitutes a timely reminder that the histories of Europe and the Islamic world have been closely linked for centuries, beginning at a time when the Islamic world nurtured the most prosperous, creative and knowledge-based societies in the world. Our project has been instrumental in raising issues of heritage management in Sweden, which is where our most significant investment in collaborative research is located. As a result of the experience we have already accumulated with the national museum service and the archaeological community in Sweden, we have been consulted by senior figures in the Swedish academy for our views on the future trajectory of archaeological research in Viking-Age sites and the best procedures for efficient processing of the coin finds that constitute the most important evidence for the Viking-Age era of Sweden. We have been able to draw on our experience of the highly successful track record of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in this country to suggest modifications to current practices in Sweden that will facilitate the efficient attribution, conservation, curation and display of coin finds. Public dissemination of our project's impact is now under way. The Dirhams for Slaves website, hosted by the Khalili Research Centre, Oxford University, went live in the summer of 2014 and provides information on news and events connected to the project team's activities. An exhibition on Viking-Age hoards and coinage in the Ashmolean Museum (Jul-Sep 2015) brought our project to the attention of general public, as did several publications in press and on popular websites. We have organised a number of conferences in Oxford and in Stockholm, and given talks in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Russia. The project contributed to the awareness of the importance of slave trade in the Viking World and in general in the early middle ages, thus adding a new important dimension to the perceptions of this period. This new understanding of the Vikings finds its way to a general public, as proved by a feature article on the Vikings in the March 2017 issue of "National Geographic", for which M Jankowiak was interviewed, and where the results of the project are referred to.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Conference grant, History Faculty, Oxford University
Amount £1,500 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Department Faculty of History
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2014 
End 11/2014
 
Description John Fell Fund
Amount £6,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 04/2016
 
Description Khalili Research Centre
Amount £4,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 11/2016
 
Description Khalili Research Centre, Oxford University
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Department Khalili Research Centre (KRC)
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2014
 
Description Lorne Thyssen Research Fund for Ancient World Topics, Wolfson College, Oxford
Amount £1,500 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Department Lorne Thyssen Research Fund for Ancient World Topics
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2014 
End 11/2014
 
Title Catalogue of silver hoards containing coins from Gotland, Pomerania and Svealand (cf. Gruszczynski 2018) dated to c. 800-1050 
Description Database of silver hoards containing coins from Gotland, Pomerania and Svealand dated to c. 800-1050, accompanying Gruszczynski 2019 (see the list of publications). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The database accompanies one of the main outcomes of the project, i.e. the publication of the dissertation of the doctoral student funded by the project (see Gruszczynski 2019 in the list of publications). The quality of the dissertation has been recognised by an international panel of reviewers who selected it as the opening volume of a new publication series "Routledge Archaeologies of the Viking World" in Routledge. The database is the first publicly accessible catalogue of Viking-Age silver hoards from three key areas of the Baltic, above all from Gotland. It will thus be an important tool for historians of the Viking Age. 
URL https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:49f52513-a83b-4a38-8d7d-579676885f7c
 
Title Database of silver finds in N Europe 
Description This is a working database collecting data on the finds of silver coins and objects in the Baltic area and in the Slavic lands. No catalogue of such finds currently exists, hence the necessity of collecting such data. The database currently includes ca 3,500 records and is still being expanded. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database enables, for the first time, a comprehensive study of silver flows throughout Northern Europe. Current studies of silver circulation in Northern Europe are limited to areas defined by modern national borders and do not take into consideration broader geographical areas. But the study of the trade system our project is focusing on requires a broader perspective - and this is the purpose of this working database. 
 
Title Dirham Imitations Database 
Description Database of ca 10,000 dirham imitations of 9th-10th centuries CE. The database contains the descriptions of the coins, images of ca 3,000 coins, and the information on die-links between individual coins that will enable us to publish the first die catalogue of this type of coins. This database is the first of its kind ever compiled. The catalogue which will be the outcome of the database will enable us to distinguish between the genuine Islamic dirhams, produced in the Islamic world, which serviced the northern trade routes and the imitational dirhams, which were struck outside the Islamic world by merchants and rulers who needed coinage to boost the local circulation of silver. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database will serve as a basis for the publication of the first catalogue of dirham imitations, a type of coinage that is particularly difficult to study on account of the huge variety of coin types which it includes; the poor production standards employed in striking this coinage; and the difficulty of deciphering its often garbled inscriptions. These are the reasons why no other researchers have yet attempted to produce a catalogue of this material - our initiative is the first of its kind in the sixty-year history of research on this topic. 
 
Title Spatial analysis model for hoards of silver in northern Europe 
Description Jacek Gruszczynski has developed a methodology for analyzing spatial data related to Viking-Age finds of hoards of silver in northern Europe. It consists in building a statistical model relating data on the hoards to a set of topographical (e.g. distance from the nearest river), geological (e.g. nature of the soil), and cultural (e.g. settlements, burial grounds) data. The model allows to explain the spatial distribution of the hoards and thus yields important historical insights. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The model relates data on the hoards to variables such as the topography, hydrology, geology and cultural landscape of their find spot. It thus allows to understand the reasons for silver hoarding in areas for which we lack written sources. In particular, the distribution of hoards on the Baltic island of Gotland (which accounts for ca 1/4 of known hoards) is a mystery. The model suggests that hoarding may have been related to the occupation of new cultivable grounds in the Viking-Age. 
 
Description Collaboration with Dr Gert Rispling of the Royal Coin Cabinet, Stockholm, Sweden 
Organisation Royal Coin Cabinet
Country Sweden 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are collaborating with the Royal Coin Cabinet, Stockholm, Sweden by jointly publishing a catalogue of Viking-Age Islamic imitational coinage which includes several hundred coins from the Royal Coin Cabinet's own collection.
Collaborator Contribution The Royal Coin Cabinet is providing access to their coin material; work space; and the use of the museum's lecture hall for a conference on imitational coinage to be held in Stockholm in the autumn of 2015.
Impact Project members, Treadwell, Jankowiak and Gruszczynski visited the Royal Coin Cabinet four times in 2013-2014 and plan quarterly trips in the future to continue working on the catalogue with our colleague, Dr Gert Rispling.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) 
Organisation European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)
Country Czech Republic 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution With the support of the Board of the EAA, Jankowiak organised a session on the 'Archaeology of Early Medieval Slavery' at the Annual Meeting of the EAA in Istanbul on 11 September 2014. The session, the first ever to attempt to set an agenda for an archaeological investigation of the medieval slave trade, was very successful (it attracted ca 80 auditors and raised the awareness of the project), and will probably result in a publication.
Collaborator Contribution The Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists provided the ideal environment for a session that put our project in direct dialogue with the most prominent European archaeologists.
Impact We are currently considering the publication of the acts of the session.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with the University of Lviv, Ukraine 
Organisation University of Lviv
Department Institute of Archaeology
Country Ukraine 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are setting up a collaboration with the archaeologists of the University of Lviv aiming at a study of the largest early Slavic site in Ukraine, namely the fortifications at Plisnesk near Lviv. Our side is arranging for resources that would enable us to conduct an archaeological summer school on the site in summer 2017.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will provide all the logistics needed for the summer school in summer 2017.
Impact We are planning to publish a collection of studies on this remarkable site that is virtually unknown to broader audience outside of Ukraine.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Ilisch, Forschungsstelle für islamische Numismatik, Tübingen University 
Organisation Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Department Research Unit for Islamic Numismatics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have consulted with Dr Lutz Ilisch on the analysis of Viking-Age silver coin hoards from the German Baltic coast which he has attributed.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Ilisch has given us summary descriptions of the relevant hoard material and discussed their relationship to other hoards found in the Baltic region.
Impact Data from Dr Ilisch's research on the German Baltic coin hoards will be included in the monograph currently being prepared by Jankowiak on the circulation of silver in the northern lands and the slave trade.
Start Year 2014
 
Description "Dirhams for Slaves" Seminar. Held in the Khalili Research Centre, Oxford, in Trinity Term (April-June) 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A series of seminars related to the "Dirhams for Slaves" project entitled The Dark Ages' Dirty Secret? Medieval slavery from the British Isles to the Eurasian steppes and the Mediterranean world was held in Oxford in the Trinity Term (April-June) 2015. Speakers from Oxford, other British universities, and Mainz talked on topics ranging from drug trade as a potential template for medieval slave trade through fur trade to various aspects of slavery and slave trade in Norman Sicily, Northern Europe, Byzantium, Islamic world and the steppe. The seminars attracted a wide audience, and facilitated contacts between researchers active in fields that seldom intersect (e.g. history and policy making, or Scandinavian and Tibetan studies). The talks were recorded and published as podcasts on the project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/resources
 
Description "New Perspectives on Roman Slavery" conference at the Florida State University, Tallahassee FL 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Participation at a very well attended conference on Roman slavery organised by Brent Shaw, one of the most eminent historians of ancient slavery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 'A Central Asian trade hub: Khwarazm in the Late Antique and Early Islamic period'. Conference at Wolfson College, Oxford, 29 Nov 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop on Khwarazm, an autonomous kingdom situated on the southern shore of what used to be the Aral Sea in Central Asia, aimed at studying an area that played in Late Antiquity and in the early Middle Ages a pivotal role as the interface between the sedentary world to its south and the Eurasian steppe. Entirely forgotten to the modern world (with the exception of Soviet-era archaeologists), it mediated exchanges between, among others, Scandinavia and the Islamic world, and developed its own unique culture at the intersection of all these influences. The workshop was well attended by historians and archaeologists not only of Central Asia. but also of the Islamic World, Byzantium, and Scandinavia. It was preceded by a public lecture by Prof. Irina Arzhantseva (Russian Academy of Sciences), who presented the site of Por-Bajin, a spectacular Uyghur fortress on a lake island at the Russian-Mongolian border. The lecture was attended by almost a hundred members of Wolfson College (fellows and students) and many staff and students from other colleges and universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/news-and-events/103-past-events/310-test-ev...
 
Description 'Early Medieval Imitational Coinages'. A conference at the Royal Coin Cabinet, Stockholm, 5-7 Nov 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In collaboration with the Royal Coin Cabinet, Stockholm, we organized the first ever conference on the Early Medieval Imitational Coinages. Imiatative coins are a key source for the project, and they are notoriously understudied by the numismatists, even though in some areas and some periods of time they constitute the majority of coinage. We attracted virtually all the numismatists with any knowledge on the subject as well as an audience of experts, coin collectors, and postgraduate students. Papers from the conference will be published in Nordisk Numismatisk Årsskrift in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/images/Imitations_programme_final.pdf
 
Description 'Iran resurgent - politics, trade and literature in the Samanid era' Conference at Wadham College, Oxford, 22-23 Sep 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This conference brought together, for the first time, historians, archaeologists, numismatists, and historians of literature working on the Samanid dynasty that ruled in Eastern Iran and Central Asia in the 9th and 10th centuries. The historical role of this dynasty consists, among other things, in patronising the resurgence of literary production in Persian - which decisively shaped the development of Persianate literature until this day -, and in producing massive quantities of coinage that is mostly found in Sweden. The conference was of key importance for L Treadwell and M Jankowiak for their work on their monographs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/news-and-events/103-past-events/300-confere...
 
Description 'Islamic trade with the northern lands in the Viking Age.' Exhibition in the Coin Gallery, Ashmolean Museum, Jul-Sep 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In collaboration with colleagues from the Royal Coin Cabinet, Stockholm, we organised an exhibition on Islamic trade with the northern lands in the Viking Age. The exhibition showcased a unique Islamic medallion kept in the Ashmolean (usually not exhibited) and more than fifty Islamic silver coins from the Royal Coin Cabinet. It was on display for three months; we can assume it was seen by a significant part of the public visiting the museum (estimated at 1 million per year).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/news-and-events/103-past-events/318-special...
 
Description 'Lost in Translation? Ibn Fadlan and the Great Unwashed'. Conference at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 14-15 Mar 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jonathan Shepard organized a conference on Ibn Fadlan's vivid eye-witness report of his mission to the Bulgars on the Middle Volga in 921/2, probably one of the most widely known and intensively studied of early Arabic texts. Yet the importance of Ibn Fadlan and his mission has yet to receive a full and rounded assessment. Our two-day interdisciplinary conference drew on historians, numismatists, textual scholars and archaeologists and set Ibn Fadlan's account within the broader context of tenth-century Europe, the Islamic world and the Eurasian steppes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/news-and-events
 
Description 'Silver Landscapes in Viking-Age Gotland: From Hoards to Settlements'. A workshop in School of Archaeology, Oxford, 26 Mar 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop dealt with the Swedish island of Gotland, which plays a central role in discussions on the early medieval economies and long-distance connections, mainly due to the unparalleled record of over 700 finds of Viking Age precious metal. The study of this exceptional material, on which much of the work of the project is based, is impaired by several difficulties: unsatisfactory publication, unknown archaeological contexts, and our insufficient knowledge of the settlement patters, social structures and, consequently, of the impact that this exceptional wealth exerted on Gotlandic society. In order to address this problem, we invited to Oxford the most active Gotlandic archaeologists, with whom we discussed many of the issues of central relevance to the project. The workshop was well attended, and provoked many debates. We intend to publish the papers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/news-and-events/103-past-events/311-silver-...
 
Description 'Viking Age Silver Hoards in the Baltic Zone. Deposition and (Non-)retrieval'. Paper given by Jacek Gruszczynski, Medieval Archaeology Seminar, Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, 25 Jan 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The first part of the paper discussed the patterns of hoard distribution in Pomerania, Svealand and Gotland with the view of identifying the main factors associated with the influx and availability of silver present in hoards. The second part was aimed at identifying reasons for deposition and non-retrieval of the buried silver with the help of the more evolved method presented at Leeds IMC. The publication of the paper on Academia.edu sparked a stimulating discussion with the Gotlandic and mainland-Swedish archaeologists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Archaeology of Slavery conference, Istanbul 11 Sep 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organised a session on the 'Archaeology of medieval slavery' at the Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists at Istanbul on 11 Sep 2014. This is THE annual conference of European archaeologists; it was attended by c.1,500 participants. Our session included 10 papers, by major experts in adjacent fields (e.g. M McCromick on early medieval economy, P Lane on African archaeology), and it was very well attended, with 70-80 people in the room throughout the session. The success of the session is proved by the proposition to publish it. The papers of the session are currently being edited by M Jankowiak and F Biermann. The publication is planned for late 2016 or early 2017 in the European Association of Archaeologists monograph series published by Maney.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/index.php/en/news-and-events/103-past-events/286-archaeo...
 
Description Article publicizing the results of the project in a Polish popular monthly on history, Focus Historia 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article on early medieval slave trade based on information provided by project members in 'Focus Historia' 6/2015, pp. 34-37
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://historia.focus.pl/polska/polska-niewolnikow-czy-piastowie-handlowali-zywym-towarem-1748
 
Description Information on the project on a popular Polish website for medieval studies (mediewalia.pl), 13 Dec 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An overview of the project has been published on a popular Polish website for medieval studies. It provoked an internet discussion and was liked 365 times (as of 5 Mar 2016)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://mediewalia.pl/publicystyka/europe-zbudowano-na-slowianskich-niewolnikach/
 
Description National Georgaphic - mention of the project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project was referred to in the feature article by H. Pringle, What you don't know about the Vikings" in March 2017 edition of "National Geographic". M Jankowiak was interviewed for this article. The article highlights the contribution of the project to a better understanding of the Viking slave trade, and more broadly of the Viking economy. National Geographic has an estimated readership of 30-40 million, including 2 million in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/03/vikings-ship-burials-battle-reenactor/
 
Description Paper "John Mystikos - an underrated envoy to Rus?" given by Jonathan Shepard 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact 'John Mystikos - an underrated envoy to Rus?' - paper given by Jonathan Shepard at the meeting of the Slavonic and East European Medieval Studies Group (SEEMSG), Room B06, Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AX, on Saturday 10 November 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at the "Framing the Late Antique and Early Medieval Economy" conference, Princeton University, 29 Aprili 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact M Jankowiak presented the project's work on dirham imitations at the "Framing the Late Antique and Early Medieval Economy" conference at Princeton University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public talk at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull (19 Mar 2020) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public presentation of the outcomes of the project at the main British institute specialising in research on slavery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Sessions at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, 9 Jul 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jonathan Shepard organized three sessions related to the 'Dirhams for Slaves' project at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds on 9 July 2015. Speakers presented their research on the circulation of silver in Northern Europe, Viking-Islamic commercial exchanges, and early medieval slavery. All the members of the project team presented their research. The sessions were an opportunity to publicize the project to a large audience of medieval historians (around 2,500 researchers participated in the congress).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/images/Leeds_Programme_Slave_Trade_Silver_and_Society_80...
 
Description Talk about the project at the "Silk Roads" workshop in Ningbo, China (10 Nov 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on the outcomes of the project to an audience of Chinese and international historians and archaeologists at a conference organised by the University of Ningbo-Nottingham.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at the 14th Midlands Viking Symposium, 28 Apr 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact M Jankowiak gave a talk on the project at the 14th Midlands Viking Symposium, a forum where historians engage with a broader public interested in the history of the Vikings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/csva/events/events/2017-18/14th-midlands-viking-symposi...
 
Description Talk at the Economic History Seminar at the Gakushuin University, Tokyo (18 Sep 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of the outcomes of the project to Japanese economic historians, including Prof Yuzawa who was the supervisor of the current emperor.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Talk at the University of Mainz 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact M Jankowiak gave a well-attended talk on the project at the University of Mainz. This led to the establishment of regular contacts with Mainz, and to a further visit of M Jankowiak in May 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.studgen.uni-mainz.de/historisches-seminar-arbeitsbereich-byzantinistik-wintersemester-20...
 
Description Talk at the conference 'The Measure of Integration - Economic Structures and Resources of the Early Islamic Empire', Hamburg, 16-17 Feb 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact M Jankowiak participated in the final workshop of the ERC project "The Early Islamic Empire at Work - The View from the Regions Toward the Center (ERC funded)" and delivered a talk on the project "Dirhams for Slaves".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.islamic-empire.uni-hamburg.de/en/news-and-events/conferences/economy-workshop.html
 
Description Talk to the Buckinghamshire Historical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 15 March 2017 M Jankowiak gave a talk to the Buckinghamshire Historical Society, as part of the engagement of the team members to disseminate the results of the project to the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Website of the project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We run a project website http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/ where we published a general description of the project. The site is regularly updated with news form the project, in particular about the activities run by the project, such as conferences and exhibitions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/dirhamsforslaves/