Kenneth Jonsson professor i numismatik

Kenneth Jonsson

Professor emeritus

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-674 77 55
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 341
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Born in 1950 in Filipstad, BA in 1973 at Lund University, Ph.D. in 1987 at Stockholm University and associate professor in 1990. Research assistant at HSFR in 1988-1992, professor in numismatics and monetary history at Stockholm University since 1992. The chair is financed by the Gunnar Ekström foundation for numismatic research.

In my thesis, The new era - the reformation of the late Anglo-Saxon coinage, I studied a monetary reform in England c. 973. The reform was part of an effort by the king to centralize power, but ended in conflicts with local powers. This caused a division of the country which created the basis for renewed Viking attacks in England and in the end paved the way for the Danish King Cnut’s conquest of England in 1016.


Just over 700,000 coins have been found in Sweden (of which more than
42,000 during the last 15 years alone). The finds have an enormous research potential and they are especially rich during the Viking Age, Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period (800-1700). My research is concentrated to these periods with a focus on the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries, Germany, and England. As I see it, it is the aim of numismatics, based on coin finds and an analysis of the coins themselves, to see the coins in a wider perspective, economically, politically, administratively and socially.

Ongoing projects

The aim of one long term project is to, with the help of students, systematically document and analyze the coin finds from the Viking Age
(259,000 coins) and the Middle Ages (210.000 coins). During the Viking Age (c. 800-1150) mainly German, but also Islamic, Bohemian, English, and Danish coins have been studied in a total of 47 seminar papers. In the German part (107,000 coins) mint by mint has been studied. Hundreds of issuing authorities and mints and thousands of types have made the coinage difficult to understand. With the help of data bases covering the Swedish finds it has, however, been possible to analyze and bring order to this apparent confusion.

With regard to the Middle Ages (c. 1150-1520) nearly all stray finds and cumulative finds (finds from churches, monasteries, towns, and castles) have been documented and analyzed in 24 seminar papers. What remains are mainly late medieval German coins from Mecklenburg and Pomerania. This allows us to have a much better knowledge and understanding of the coinage and the coin circulation than was previously the case.

One project with external financing concerns the coinage of Erik of Pomerania 1396-1439 in Sweden, where Johan Holm is making a die-analysis based on the preserved coins. It will show the size of the coinage and how it was organized at the mints in Stockholm, Västerås, and Åbo. The results will be supplemented by myself with an analysis of the coin finds which will show how the coins circulated.

The basis for the research is databases of the finds and they are constantly updated with new finds from all periods. The finds from the Viking Age are published on our website as part of the CNS-project.

During the last few years I have started to map and analyze finds with talers (1550-1700) as well as with coins from the Swedish possessions during Sweden’s rise to power (1561-1721).


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Kenneth Jonsson.

    A monetary reform was undertaken in England c. 973. It met with local opposition, which a generation later helped Cnut to become king of England. The reform also coincided with the start of an export of English coins, mainly via Germany, to Scandinavia, but the export was not connected to the reform itself.

  • Conference Vikingasilver
    2016. Kenneth Jonsson.

    Two Viking-Age hoards in northern Sweden were both deposited in the 1020s, but have very different compositions. They are evidence of repeated trading expeditions when mainly German and English coins were acquired. The owner of one of the hoards was taking part in a felag, a joint expedition, in partnership with at least two other traders.

  • 2015. Kenneth Jonsson. Skeppet, staden, stormakten., 22-31

    Myntningen i Sverige var en kunglig rättighet. Under stormaktstiden förlänades ett antal städer myntningsrätt och de presenteras översiktligt. Myntfynden på regalskeppet Kronan innehåller mynt präglade i bl.a. Reval. På Kronan har man hittat mynt i guld, siver och koppar och de representerar olika samhällsklasser

  • 2015. Kenneth Jonsson. Small things wide horizons, 51-57
  • 2014. Kenneth Jonsson. Numismatisches Nachrichtenblatt 63 (Juni), 218-219

    Bischop Bietrich 1046-89 struck a number of coin types in Verdun. The types struck during the end of his office as bishop are well represented in the 2012 Övide hoard from Gotland. It also includes a previously unpublished type. Based on the composition of the hoard an absolute chronology for the types is proposed. 

Show all publications by Kenneth Jonsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 7, 2020

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