Station: [19] Slavic trade

In this cabinet you can see 2 ship’s models constructed by Slavs and Scandinavians for transport on rivers and the Baltic Sea. The ships were wide, had a low draft, and could be sailed or rowed. There were no benches or cabins, humans and freight were unprotected against the weather. However, transport by sea had considerable advantages over transport by land:

A fully loaded wagon pulled by two oxen or horses could cover 20 – 40 km per day; a ship could load ten times as much and covered 120 – 140 km.

The chart behind you provides an overview of the long-distance trade routes of merchants. As you can clearly see, long distances were covered via waterways.

Many items of trade such as fabrics, salt, honey and furs can not be verified by archaeologists because they were used or are perishable. However, you can find other trade items verified by archaeologists to the left in cabinet 21.