Timerevo (Russian : Тимерёво, Timeryovo) is an archaeological site near the village of Bolshoe Timeryovo, seven kilometers southwest of Yaroslavl, Russia, which yielded the largest deposits of early medieval Arabic coins in Northern Europe.
The site covers an area of five hectares and has no fortifications. It seems to have been operated by the Varangians from their principal base at Sarskoe Gorodishche, near Rostov. Like Sarskoe, it is situated at a distance from a major waterway — the Volga River. Nevertheless, substantial amounts of Arabic coins indicate its position as the most important Scandinavian trade outpost in the proximity of the Volga trade route.
The site was first settled by a mixture of Norse merchants and local population in the ninth century. This dating is based on three major hoards of dirhams that were detected at Timeryovo since the 1960s. The first hoard, numbering about 2,100 coins, was dispersed before scholars learnt about its existence. Only seventeen coins are known from this deposit, the earliest datable to 867. Another hoard also numbering more than 2,000 dirhams (entire and in pieces), was the largest deposit of such coins ever found from Early Medieval Europe. The earliest coin was issued by Idris II (who reigned in the 810s and 820s). Many dirhams have Runic graffiti carved on them.
The site was abandoned towards the end of the ninth century, only to be revived half a century later. At least 400 druzhina kurgans were erected there in that period. The burial rite normally featured cremation. Excavations revealed an unusual amount of Scandinavian pottery and a surprising number of crosses, indicating that a large portion of the Norse population was Christianised. Among other finds were amber artifacts from the Baltic, a unique roaster, a spatha labelled by a certain Ulfberhtfrom the Rhine, and a chess piece with an enigmatic Runic inscription (illustrated, to the right).
The site was definitively abandoned in the early eleventh century, simultaneously with the decline of Sarskoe Gorodishche and the foundation of Yaroslavl. The latest coin found at Timerevo was issued by Bruno II of Friesland (dating it between 1038 and 1057).
A growing number of other early medieval sites have been excavated near Yaroslavl, each important in its own way. The site of Mikhailovskoe immediately north of the city was explored from the nineteenth century to 1961. Of 400 barrows excavated there, only four percent yielded Scandinavian finds. Most burials featured inhumations of ordinary Slavs and Merians. The site of Medvezhy Ugol (literally, "Bear's Nook") in downtown Yaroslavl, proved to be a humble, primarily Merian settlement. More recently, twenty six burial mounds were found at Petrovskoe to the south of the city; these are still largely unexcavated. All these sites date to the mid-tenth century.
Although "objects of Scandinavian origin constitute a miserly per cent of the total of all finds, and nothing firmly indicating a complete Norman complex has yet been found",scholars suggest that within fundamentally Slavic settlement of the area "was a Norman colony, which constituted a staging point midway on the route from the Vikings to the East." Archaeologist Igor Dubov, who excavated the settlement in the 1970s, views it as a center (perhaps the capital) of mysterious Arsania mentioned by Ibn Hawqal.
Birka, on the island of Björkö in present-day Sweden, was an important Viking Age trading center which handled goods from Scandinavia as well as many parts of the European continent and the Orient. Björkö is located in Lake Mälaren, 30 kilometers west of contemporary Stockholm, in the municipality of Ekerö.
A ship burial or boat grave is a burial in which a ship or boat is used either as the tomb for the dead and the grave goods, or as a part of the grave goods itself. If the ship is very small, it is called a boat grave. This style of burial was practiced by various seafaring cultures in Asia and Europe. Notable ship burial practices include those by the Germanic peoples, particularly by Viking Age Norsemen, as well as the pre-colonial ship burials described in the Boxer Codex in the Philippines.
Yaroslavl is a city and the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located 250 kilometers (160 mi) northeast of Moscow. The historic part of the city is a World Heritage Site, and is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl rivers. It is part of the Golden Ring, a group of historic cities northeast of Moscow that have played an important role in Russian history. Population: 577,279 (2021 Census); 591,486 (2010 Census); 613,088 (2002 Census); 632,991 (1989 Census).
Garðaríki or Garðaveldi was the Old Norse term used in the Middle Ages for the lands of Rus'. According to Göngu-Hrólfs saga, the name Hólmgarðaríki was synonymous with Garðaríki, and these names were used interchangeably in several other Old Norse stories.
Sarai was the name of possibly two cities near the lower Volga, that served successively as the effective capitals of the Golden Horde, a Turco-Mongol kingdom which ruled much of Northwestern Asia and Eastern Europe, in the 13th and 14th centuries. There is considerable disagreement among scholars about the correspondence between specific archaeological sites and the various references to Sarāy, Sarāy-i Bātū, Sarāy-i Barka, Sarāy al-Jadīd, and Sarāy al-Maḥrūsah in the historical sources.
In the Middle Ages, the Volga trade route connected Northern Europe and Northwestern Russia with the Caspian Sea and the Sasanian Empire, via the Volga River. The Rus used this route to trade with Muslim countries on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, sometimes penetrating as far as Baghdad. The powerful Volga Bulgars formed a seminomadic confederation and traded through the Volga river with Viking people of Rus' and Scandinavia and with the southern Byzantine Empire Furthermore, Volga Bulgaria, with its two cities Bulgar and Suvar east of what is today Moscow, traded with Russians and the fur-selling Ugrians. Chess was introduced to Medieval Rus via the Caspian-Volga trade routes from Persia and Arabia.
Álaborg or Áluborg is the name of a Varangian fort mentioned in the Norse sagas about Halfdan Eysteinsson and Hrolf Ganger. The first saga indicates that it was possible to sail from Aldeigjuborg (Ladoga) to Alaborg northward by sea, but a more rapid and practicable way was by land eastward. The text implies that Alaborg and Aldeigjuborg were two rivals, situated at a short distance from each other.
Gnezdovo or Gnyozdovo is an archeological site located near the village of Gnyozdovo in Smolensky District, Smolensk Oblast, Russia. The site contains extensive remains of a Slavic-Varangian settlement that flourished in the 10th century as a major trade station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks.
Ancient Estonia refers to a period covering History of Estonia from the middle of the 8th millennium BC until the conquest and subjugation of the local Finnic tribes in the first quarter of the 13th century during the Teutonic and Danish Northern Crusades.
The Volga Finns are a historical group of indigenous peoples of Russia living in the vicinity of the Volga, who speak Uralic languages. Their modern representatives are the Mari people, the Erzya and the Moksha Mordvins, as well as speakers of the extinct Merya, Muromian and Meshchera languages. The Permians are sometimes also grouped as Volga Finns.
The Rus' were a people in early medieval Eastern Europe. The scholarly consensus holds that they were originally Norsemen, mainly originating from present-day Sweden, who settled and ruled along the river-routes between the Baltic and the Black Seas from around the 8th to 11th centuries AD. In the 9th century, they formed the state of Kievan Rusʹ, where the ruling Norsemen along with local Finnic tribes gradually assimilated into the East Slavic population, with Old East Slavic becoming the common spoken language. Old Norse remained familiar to the elite until their complete assimilation by the second half of the 11th century, and in rural areas, vestiges of Norse culture persisted as late as the 14th and early 15th centuries, particularly in the north.
The Varangians were Viking conquerors, traders and settlers, mostly from present-day Sweden. The Varangians settled in the territories of present-day Belarus, Russia and Ukraine from the 8th and 9th centuries, and established the state of Kievan Rus' as well as the principalities of Polotsk and Turov. They also formed the Byzantine Varangian Guard, which later also included Anglo-Saxons.
Arthania was one of the three states of the Rus or Saqaliba with the center in Artha described in a lost book by Abu Zayd al-Balkhi and mentioned in works by some of his followers. The two other centers were Slawiya and Kuyaba.
Igor Vasilievich Dubov was a Russian archaeologist who excavated one of the largest settlements on the Volga trade route, Timerevo.
Jesse L. Byock is Professor of Old Norse and Medieval Scandinavian Studies in the Scandinavian Section at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
The Viking Age in Estonia was a period in the history of Estonia, part of the Viking Age. It was not a unified country at the time, and the area of Ancient Estonia was divided among loosely allied regions. It was preceded by the Bronze and Early Iron Ages in Estonia, during which an agrarian society had developed, the Migration Period, and Pre-Viking Age with the Viking Age itself lasting between 800–1050 AD. It is often considered to be part of the Iron Age period which started around 400 AD and ended around 1200 AD, soon after Estonian Vikings were recorded in the Eric Chronicle to have sacked Sigtuna in 1187.
A prominent position is held by rings in early Germanic cultures, appearing both in archaeology throughout areas settled by Germanic peoples, and in textual sources discussing their practices and beliefs. They are notably associated with the related aspects of wealth, being used as forms of currency in the Early Medieval Period, and swearing sacred oaths, often dedicated to, or witnessed by, the gods. The sacrality of rings is reflected in Germanic mythology and ring bestowal held a central role in maintaining functional relationships between rulers and their retinues. The cultural roles of rings continued to varying extents during and after the Christianisation of the Germanic peoples, such as in gift-bestowal and oath-swearing.