Archäologische Zeugnisse zum mittelalterlichen Kreditwesen

  • Felix Rösch (Autor/in)


From a medieval archaeological perspective, obvious sources for evidence of credit are limited or only indirectly available. This is even more true for the Early and High Middle Ages and the regions of Northern Europe, where even the written sources provide little evidence of pledged objects or means of payment. Nevertheless, a number of artefacts found mainly in (proto) urban trade centers can be linked to credit systems, or at least to over­arching currency areas and the social conceptions attached to them. Besides tally sticks, these are standardized ingots and a weight-related monetary system based on silver. These artefacts can thus be understood not only as part of an economic system, but also as part of a process of social interaction by which routine was established and trustworthiness communicated. Security was an essential requirement for credit transactions, as it was for trade. The paper thus discusses the mobile material sources on the medieval credit economy and the social practices associated with it.

Keywords Credit; Medieval Archaeology; Material Cul­ture; Tally Sticks