Jens Christian Moesgaard

Jens Christian Moesgaard


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-674 76 80
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 313
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Born 1963 in Aarhus, Denmark. MA University of Copenhagen 1992. PhD-level recognized by jury at the National Museum of Denmark, 1997. Curator, Musée des Antiquités, Rouen, France 1992-1995. Determination of coin finds from archaeological excavations, Normandy 1996. Research Associate, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge 1997. Curator/researcher at the National Museum of Denmark 1997-2001, senior researcher 2001-2019. Invited professor Ecole pratique des hautes études, Paris 2015. Invited scholar IRAMAT, Orléans, France 2017/2018 & 2019. Since February 2020 Professor at Stockholm Numismatic Institute (The Gunnar Ekström Chair of Numismatics and Monetary History), University of Stockholm. Permanent member of Centre Michel de Boüard – Centre de recherches archéologiques et historiques anciennes et médiévales UMR 6273 (CNRS/Université de Caen Normandie).


Coins are issued by official decision. This implies that their date and place of production can be determined more precisely than those of most other archaeological artefacts. Millions of coins were struck and hundreds of thousands survive until today. They were used in everyday life by large portions of the population. The motives and inscriptions of the coins were an important way for the issuing power to disseminate political or religious messages.

Thus coins constitute a mass material at the focal point between the power and the people. Their potential as evidence for the social, political, cultural, administrative and economic history is huge, especially concerning periods with few written sources, such as the Viking Age and the Early Middle Ages.

From this starting point, I investigate coins and coin use in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages in France, England and Scandinavia. I have particularly focussed on the methodological aspects of coin finds as evidence for coin use and coin production, as well as the position of numismatics in relation to history and archaeology.

Ongoing projects

The CNS-project (Corpus Nummorum Saeculorum IX-XI qui in Suecia reperti sunt) aims at publishing all Viking Age coin finds from Sweden. This unique find material is one of the largest and best documented in the world and constitutes extraordinary detailed evidence for social and economic life in the Viking Age.

In collaboration with IRAMAT, Orléans, France, I prepare a monograph on the coinage of Normandy in the 10th century. It is the time when the Viking chieftain Rollo received Normandy from the Frankish king Charles the Simple. The subsequent Norman coinage is, however, purely Frankish and not Scandinavian. It is well-organized and must have required an efficient administrative system. The purpose of the coinage seems to have been to provide maximum income for the issuing power.

In collaboration with the National Museum of Denmark and Museum Vestsjælland, I investigate rural coin use in the Middle Ages. Denmark has had 40 years of close collaboration between archaeologists and metal detectorists. The result is thousands of well-documented finds. In this way, finds of coins in rural contexts have come to light in such numbers, that by now, one must conclude that peasants used coins currently from the 13th century on.

Last updated: February 7, 2020

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