Sites & cities that bear the name of Kaupang


Today in : Norway
First trace of activity : ca. 8th century C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 10th century C.E

Description : Kaupang was a Norse term for market-place. Today, it is generally used as a name of the first town-like market-place in Norway, the Kaupang in Skiringssal, which is located in Tjølling near Larvik in Vestfold. Kaupang was an important merchant and craft center during the Viking period and as yet the first known Norwegian trading outpost. Kaupang is home to remains for the oldest Nordic town yet discovered. At Kaupang lie remains of one of Scandinavia’s earliest urban sites, established in year 800 A.D. Kaupang was abandoned in the mid-10th century. It has been described as Norway’s most important monument from the Viking Age. Kaupang was founded in the 780s and abandoned for unknown reasons in the early 10th century. It was situated on a beach by Viksfjord in Larvik municipality. Documentary sources indicate that the area was an important royal seat in the 8th and 9th centuries. There is a general perception that Kaupang is mentioned under the name of Skiringssal (Old Norse: Skíringssalr) in Ohthere of Hålogaland's account of his travels. But the name of the port Ohthere visited at the end of the 9th century is only recorded as "Sciringes heal" in Old English, and there is no scientific evidence that "Sciringes heal" corresponded to Kaupang in Skiringssal.

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