- Museum number
D-shaped gold fibula (dress pin or brooch); hammered; decorated with incised rings, one on the bow and the other close to the spring; simple catch-plate for the pin; incised zig-zag along the foot; found with 1893,1116.2 but not a pair.
- Production date
- 1100BC-1000BC (circa)
Height: 2.90 centimetres
Length: 4 centimetres
Weight: 5.44 grammes
- Curator's comments
- According to the BM Catalogue of Gems and Cameos (1926), these fibulae (brooches) were found in a tomb along with the rock crystal gem GR 1893,11-16.1 (BM Gem 232), though the findspot of Maroni was followed by a question mark. However when first registered, the findspot was given as 'Moni, near Amathus'. This was repeated in the earliest publication of the objects in 1897, where the site was said to be 'about six miles from another early site, that of Mari, which appears to be of considerable extent, as Mycenaean remains have appeared in several villages of the neighbourhood' (Walters 1897, 66).
While the names of Moni, Mari and Maroni appear to have been confused quite commonly in the 19th century, the figure of six miles given by Walters corresponds with the distance between the villages of Moni and Mari (as the crow flies). The distance from Mari to the Maroni sites excavated by the BM, rather than to the actual village, is between five or six miles, but Walters account makes clear that his reference point was Moni. Furthermore, by 1897, Walters would also have been familiar with the geography of this area, so he seems to have been certain about which area he was referring when specifying Moni as the findspot. Why Walters amended the provenance of the gem, albeit hesitantly, in his 1926 text is unknown, unless the discoveries around Maroni itself led Walters to conclude that the original information provided by the vendor was unreliable.
The fibulae were originally dated to the 11th century BC (see refs in Johnson 1980; also Goring 1983 includes them in her LBA corpus), raising the question of a burial ground, or at least an isolated burial, of this period in the Maroni, Moni or Mari areas which is otherwise unknown. The seal may however have been in circulation long before the burial so an earlier date is possible.On the other hand, Giesen's study demonstrates that her Type VI fibula has a date range of between 1100 and 700, so it is possible that these came from a much later tomb.
These gold fibulae are of the so-called D-shaped type originally introduced to Cyprus from the Bronze Age Greek world. The bows of these dress pins are plain, without strengthening bosses: they therefore belong to an early series. In Cyprus, bronze examples have been found at Lapethos, Episkopi and Kouklia (Palaepaphos), and date mostly from the eleventh century BC. Other bronze fibulae from eleventh century BC Cypriot tombs are of the 'fiddle-bow' variety, also adopted from the Greek world. The appearance of Greek brooches at this time suggests a change in dress styles, though dress pins of eastern origin were still in use.
On bronze examples, see also Catling 1964, 244-5; also Blinkenburg 1926, 73 no. 17c-d and fig. 56; and more generally, Higgins 1980, 89. Karageorghis and Iacovou 1982, 136-7 discuss the examples from Palaepaphos in particular.
Catling H. 1964, Cypriot bronzework in the Mycenaean world (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Blinkenburg C. 1926, Fibules grecques et orientales (Copenhagen).
Higgins R. 1980 (2nd ed.), Greek and Roman jewellery (London: Methuen).
Karageorghis V. and Iacovou M. 1982, 'Geometric material from Palaepaphos', RDAC, 123-37.
- On display (G72/dc9)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number