Examples of traded surplusses include vegetables and domestic animals, which were often brought to trading sites and exchanged for other goods, such as tools, weapons, and necessities.
For example, one runic inscription from Hedeby describes how Oddulfr traded Eyríkr an otter skin in exchange for a sword.
Farmers and others also wanted to get their hands on luxury items like glass - or maybe even decorations and jewelry.
During the Viking period, silver rose in prominence and became a vital element of trading. It could be used as a means of payment according to its weight, as proven by archaeological finds of silver coins and ingots at Viking sites.
The importance of silver
Vikings used the weight of silver as a means of achieving balance in trade. They used scales and weights to make sure that they could precisely measure the necessary quantities of silver.
Over the years, Vikings also developed other techniques to ensure they weren't cheated during transactions.
While the earliest known Danish coins have been discovered at the sites of Viking trading towns of Ribe and Hedeby, the use of coins became more widespread during the reign of King Sweyn II Estridsen in the 11th century, according to researchers.
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