Thursday, April 27, 2006

Viking Period Disc Brooch

Here's one of the prettiest finds we made in Östergötland over Easter. It's an early 10th century disc brooch executed in the Borre style and cast in copper alloy. Most likely it's from a ploughed-out inhumation grave. The remains of the iron pin are still on its back side, showing that the pin has rusted in a locked position as when the brooch was fastened to a lady's dress. On the back side are also remains of a cast loop near the edge to fasten a bead string or a fine chain to hold small utensils.

Identical brooches are known from the proto-town of Birka in the Lake Mälaren area, where this piece may very well have been made. Ingmar Jansson calls the type II A4.

The relief decoration is a bit obscured by verdigris, but it'll look great after conservation. I'll try to remember to put up a new pic when it's done.

Jansson, I. 1984. Grosse Rundspangen. Arwidsson, G. (ed.). Birka II:1. Systematische Analysen der Gräberfunde. KVHAA. Stockholm.
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Blogger Martha said...

How large is this piece? The craftsmanship is amazing, even through all the crud(technical term) on top. I look forward to seeing it cleaned up. Things of beauty like this make me realize how exactly like us our ancestors were-- they just lived ina different context. And were shorter.

27 April, 2006 18:29  
Blogger Martin said...

Its maximum diameter is about 6 cm or 2 1/3 inches.

You're absolutely right, people are people through the ages. Which is kind of lucky for me: otherwise it would be impossible for archaeologists to understand anything about their field of study.

27 April, 2006 18:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oj vad fin den är. Undrar just hur hon såg ut som bar den? Hittade du den med metalldetektorn? Vad gör du med den sen, lämnas den till museum eller kan du behålla den?

27 April, 2006 21:36  
Blogger Martin said...

Yes, it's a detector find. Now I'll send it to conservation and then it'll end up in a museum. Either the county museum in Linköping or the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm (Historiska Museet). Archaeological museums are kind of like public archives: finds are kept there so everyone can have access.

28 April, 2006 08:55  

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