What just happened?

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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

ear-ring

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1923,0716.30

  • Description

    Gold earring, small plain hoop and cast polyhedral bead terminal.

    The hoop is of thick, circular-section rod bent to form an open ring and hammered to its final shape. At one end it is joined to the bead either by casting or by solder; the other end is free and is slightly thinner, with a cut-off end. Each polyhedral bead is cast with four hexagonal, eight triangular and two octagonal faces. There are indistinct traces of a diamond-shaped depression with concave sides on the hexagonal faces. Some of the triangular faces are irregularly formed.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 4thC(late)-5thC (or later)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 20 millimetres
    • Weight: 5.96 grammes
    • Percentage: 78 % of rim (gold)
  • Curator's comments

    Pair with 1923,0716.31Andrási 2008
    There is a basic disagreement over the origin of polyhedral earrings (see also 1923,0716.64 and 65). According to one theory (e.g. Vágó and Bóna,[1] Bierbrauer,[2] Damm [3]) this type of earring was popular in the Danubian provinces of the late Roman Empire, and appears in East Germanic graves from the late 4th century up to the mid-6th century. But according to another theory (e.g. Salamon and Barkóczi,[4] Horedt,[5] von Freeden [6]) they derive from the Black Sea/Caspian region, and were spread by Germanic tribes from the 4th century. According to von Freeden they were in use in Central Europe until the 7th century.
    The silver and bronze variants of the same type are imitations of the gold ones, which appear in the richer graves. I have surveyed only the gold earrings with solid polyhedral beads. There is an earring from Kerch, found on 24 June, 1904, dated to the end of 4th/first half of 5th century by Zasetskaya.[7] Aibabin dates this type from the 5th to the first half of the 7th century on the basis of the dating of the other finds from the same grave.[8] The earring from Intercisa (Dunaújváros, Hungary) is dated to the late 4th century.[9] A pair from Maikop (south Russia) is dated to the 4th–5th century by Damm [10] and the earring from Phanagoria (Taman, south Russia) is dated to the same period by Werner.[11] The earring pair from Regöly (Hungary) and its type are dated to the 5th century.[12] A pair of earrings from Sigis¸oara (Segesvár, Romania) is considered to be a characteristic piece of Gepid fashion of the Hunnic period by Bóna.[13] They are dated to the period between 472–568 by Csallány,[14] while according to Bierbrauer the East Germanic variants of this late-Roman (late 4th-century) type of earring can be dated to the 5th��6th century.[15] There is one from Aquileia (Italy)[16] and another with no provenance, but probably from southern Italy.[17] There is a pair from a woman’s grave at Hochfelden (France)[18] found together with late 4th/early 5th-century jewellery, and a smaller and a slightly bigger earring of this type come from Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy.[19] They were found together with objects of fashionable Danubian East Germanic type. There is a pair of unknown provenance in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.[20]
    The earring-pair of the Berthier-Delagarde Collection can be considered as early examples of the type, and therefore may be dated to the end of the 4th–5th century.

    Comparative Bibliography
    1. Vágó E.B. and Bóna I. 1976, Der spätrömische Südostfriedhof. Die Gräberfelder von Intercisa I. Budapest., 196
    2. Bierbrauer V. 1975, Die ostgotischen Grab- und Schatzfunde in Italien. Centro Italiano di Studi sull‘Alto Medioevo. Studi Medievali VII, Spoleto, 163–5
    3. Damm I.G. 1988, Goldschmiedearbeiten der Völkerwanderungszeit aus dem Nördlichen Schwarzmeergebiet. Katalog der Sammlung Diergardt 2. Kölner Jahrbuch für Vor- und Frühgeschichte 21, 65–210, 121
    4. Salamon A. and Barkóczi L. 1971, Bestattungen von Csákvár aus dem Ende des 4. und dem Anfang des 5. Jahrhunderts. Alba Regia, 11. (Székesfehérvár). 35–77, 74
    5. Horedt K. 1979, Die Polyederohrringe des 5.–6. Jahrh. u. Z. aus der S.R. Rumänien. Zeitschrift für Archaologie 13. Berlin, 241–50. 246
    6. Von Freeden, U. 1979, Untersuchungen zu merowingerzeitlichen Ohrringen bei den Alamannen. BRGK 60, 231–44, 277–287
    7. Zasetskaya I.P. 1979, Bosporskiye sklepi gunnskoi epokhi kak khronologicheskiy etalon dlya datirovki pamyatnikov Vostochnoevropeiskikh stepei. KSIA 158, 5–17, ill. 2:39; Zasetskaya I.P. 1993, Materialy bosporskogo nekropolya vtoroi poloviny IV - pervoi poloviny V vv. n. e. MAIET III, 23–105. 53, pl. 22:86; I Goti 1994. Exhibition catalogue, Milan., (A. I. Aibabin) 116–17, pl. II.7.i
    8. Aibabin A.I. 1990, Khronologiya mogil’nikov Kryma Pozdnerimskogo i rannesrednevekovogo vremeni. MAIET. I, 3–86. 58, pl. 2:60
    9. Alföldi M.R. et al. 1957, Intercisa II. (Dunapentele). Geschichte der Stadt in der Römerzeit. Arch. Hung. XXXVI, 431, 432, ill. 93
    10. Damm I.G. 1988, Goldschmiedearbeiten der Völkerwanderungszeit aus dem Nördlichen Schwarzmeergebiet. Katalog der Sammlung Diergardt 2. Kölner Jahrbuch für Vor- und Frühgeschichte 21, 65–210, 121–2, ill. 63
    11. Werner J. 1956, Beiträge zur Archäologie des Attila-Reiches. (BayrAW. Abh., NF 38a) Munich, pl. 48:5
    12. Bóna I. 1991, Das Hunnenreich (Budapest-Stuttgart), 160 ill. 100, 288; Bóna I. 1993, A hunok és nagykirályaik. Budapest, 143, ill. 100; 258
    13. Bóna I. 1986, Daciától Erdo˝elvéig. A népvándorlás kora Erdélyben (271–896). In: Erdély története, vol.I. Budapest, 107–234., pl. 26:7;8
    14. Csallány D. 1961, Archäologische Denkmäler der Gepiden im Mitteldonaubecken (454–568 u.Z.) Arch. Hung. XXXVIII., 198, pl. CCXIII:9;10
    15. Bierbrauer V. 1975, Die ostgotischen Grab- und Schatzfunde in Italien. Centro Italiano di Studi sull‘Alto Medioevo. Studi Medievali VII, Spoleto, 163–5
    16. Bierbrauer V. 1975, Die ostgotischen Grab- und Schatzfunde in Italien. Centro Italiano di Studi sull‘Alto Medioevo. Studi Medievali VII, Spoleto. 163–4, pl. I:4
    17. Bierbrauer V. 1975, Die ostgotischen Grab- und Schatzfunde in Italien. Centro Italiano di Studi sull‘Alto Medioevo. Studi Medievali VII, Spoleto. pl. LV:4
    18. Hatt J.-J. 1965, Une tombe barbare du Ve siècle à Hochfelden (Bas-Rhin). Gallia Préhistoire 23, 250–6. 250
    19. Marin J.-Y. 1990, Les influences Danubiennes dans l’Ouest de l’Europe au Ve siècle. Exhibition catalogue, Caen, 72
    20. Hoffmann H. and von Claer V. 1968, Antiker Gold- und Silberschmuck. Katalog mit Untersuchung der Objecte auf technischer Grundlage. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Mainz, 130–131, ill. 85a

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Andrási 2008 6 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1988 12 Mar-15 May, Germany, Frankfurt, Kunsthalle Shirn Am Römerberg, Germanen, Hunnen und Avaren
    1987 12 Dec-1988 21 Feb, Germany, Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Germanen, Hunnen und Avaren

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1923

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1893

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1923,0716.30

  • Additional IDs

    • 152 (old catalogue number)
Silver armlet, penannular; oval section expanding to faceted trumpet-shaped terminals.

Recto

Silver armlet, penannular; oval section expanding to faceted trumpet-shaped terminals.

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: MCS4435

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...