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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Gold ear stud, one of pair. The disc is pan-shaped with an upturned edge rimmed with beaded wire. Within the disc are concentric bands of spiral-beaded, plain and rope filigree, and friezes of simple filigree running spirals and complex spirals with omega fillers, all in spiral-beaded wire. In the centre of the disc is a three-tiered flower-head, its convex petals bordered in spiral-beaded wire, surmounted by a large central granule.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 330BC-300BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 2.6 centimetres (of disc)
    • Diameter: 1.25 centimetres (of stud)
    • Weight: 6.8 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Pair with 1877.9-10.21.Williams and Ogden 1994

    Such ear studs were particularly common in burials in Asia Minor and on Cyprus, but they also occur in South Italy, in Thrace, in the North Pontic area (Hermitage T.1855.4) and even in Egypt. Representations of the type may be found in northern Greece and South Italy.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: BMCJ 2060-1; Deppert-Lippitz, fig. 134 (right). Cypriot examples: Pierides, pl. 20, 1-2 and 3-4. Thracian studs (from Galata): Greifenhagen 11, fig. 2. South Italy (S. Maria d'Anglona, near Herakleia): NSc 23 (1969), p. 178, fig. 12.


  • Bibliography

    • Jewellery 2061 bibliographic details
    • Williams & Ogden 1994 52 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Gold ear-stud and separate back stud: the disc is decorated with filigree and a central rosette; the back stud is decorated with a die-formed star-burst.

Gold ear-stud and separate back stud: the disc is decorated with filigree and a central rosette; the back stud is decorated with a die-formed star-burst.

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA40569

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