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Brief Events and Long-Term Change : the Slow Impact of Foreign Influences in Valsgärde

Svante Fischer 

This essay seeks to address questions surrounding the Valsgärde burial ground (and to some extent also Gamla Uppsala, Uppsala, Vaksala and Vendel) by employing a terminology borrowed from the historical research of the French scholar Fernand Braudel (1902–1987) and the Annales School. Braudel (2001) distinguishes between the short-term event and the slow long-term change. This part will discuss the short-term changes that occurred in Valsgärde during the Late Migration Period and the Early Vendel Period, and later during the Viking Age. The Late Migration Period and Early Vendel Period chamber graves reflect influences from more Romanized Germanic military affinities with their power base in southeastern Europe. Second, the longue durée of literate culture using text and coinage and its relatively small impact on the denizens of Valsgärde will be discussed in part two. There are four subsections on text available in Valsgärde and its surroundings over a millennium,c. 117–1100 AD. Finds of Latin and Arabic coinage are discussed together with the evidence of runic literacy in the area. All texts are presented in appendices.


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