The Trondheimsfjord runs from the Norwegian west coast far to the east, from where routes along the rivers lead to the Gulf of Bothnia. Continuity in power and prosperity at the mouth of the fiord is discussed, with the starting point in material culture from ca. 800 BC–1200 AD. Ørlandet at the mouth of the fiord is important, and the vicarage at Veklem there is used as the main example. There we find the perhaps biggest grave mound in Sør-Trøndelag County and a stone church with its roots in 1000–1300 AD. Archeological excavations in the decades around the year 2000 have revealed remains from 800–1200 AD there. The first pollen analysis combined with macrofossil investigations to shed light over a prehistoric farm in Trøndelag is done at Veklem.
This study is based on research on living conditions on a croft in Gjerpen in Telemark. This croft had settlement in the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of the consumer and utility items found on the site are imported goods that must have been acquired through trade and contact with urban locations, both in the area and from the outside world. Production and transport of coal, as well as work for payment at the breeding farm Ødesanni, appear to be possible sources of income. The large quantity of purchased items, and the quality of any of these, make it natural to ask if people on the croft may have had some kind of additional business beyond farm work. The historical sources provide a rather thin and fragmentary image, but testify to far more modest living conditions than the findings indicate.
Eighteenth century trade statistics can help cast new light on economic, cultural and social aspects of the eighteenth century, as well as show international and global interconnection. In this article , the author looks more closely at the Norwegian work that has been done to make such sources available to the public, as well as discussing the potential uses of these statistics in historical studies.