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Lundeborg – the magnate of Gudme’s trading centre

In 1986 archaeologists found the remains of what may be Denmark’s oldest trading place, at Lundeborg on Funen. The small trading centre of Lundeborg, was strategically placed on the coast of Funen, where the River Tange runs out into the Great Belt, around 3.5 km from the halls at Gudme. Traders could easily come directly to the site, then set up camp and trade. The trading place was only used in particular seasons (spring, summer and early autumn). No traces of all-year-round habitation, such as post holes from dwellings, have been found. It is assumed that instead the traders lived in tents during “the market period”. The archaeological evidence indicates that various activities took place in and around the market place at Lundeborg in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.   

Evidence from the finds

 During the excavations of the trading place at Lundeborg, various objects were found that show the activity which took place at the location. Evidence of workshops in the form of hearths, hammers, chisels, axes, and plane blades, as well as raw materials like gold, silver, bronze, iron, bone and wood, are just some of the finds indicating that production and trading took place.

Roman contact

 Luxury products have been found at the trading place, such as glass pearls, Roman samian ware pottery and fragments of Roman drinking glass. These objects reflect close contacts with the Roman Empire. The raw materials of gold, silver and bronze, which were used in production at the location, were also imported products.

Trade and transportation of goods

In all around 180 Roman coins were found at the trading centre, together with a number of gold and silver bars, silver fragments and weights. These are all items that must have been used by the traders at Lundeborg. Presumably many traders sailed to the site. Several thousand new and used ship rivets from clinker-built ships have been found at Lundeborg. It may be that the location included a shipyard, for the repair and building of ships.