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  • Author or Editor: Ádám Bollók x
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The study analyses a peculiar feature of the archaeological material known from the 6th-10th-century Carpathian Basin, i.e. the mostly aniconic nature of the visual arts during the Avar and Hungarian Conquest periods. The author attempts to explain the generally rare appearance of human depictions and anthropomorphic ornaments. Thus he seeks to investigate the main reasons for employing visual ornaments and proposes some probable reasons that may lie in the background of the increase of human depictions in the Late Avar period.

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Jelen tanulmány a bizánci állam fennállása idején a Bizánci Birodalom fennhatósága alatt álló területeken folytatott régészeti feltárások történetét, illetve a kutatás jelen állását kívánja röviden bemutatni. Tekintettel arra, hogy bár sok, főként ősrégészek és klasszika-archaeológusok által hosszú ideje vallatott lelőhelyen váltak ismertté bizánci rétegek, „bizánci régészet” megfelelően körülhatárolt formában mégsem létezik, első lépésként az összetételnek mind a bizánci (kronológiai és földrajzi értelemben egyaránt), mind a régészet tagját érdemes körülhatárolni. E rövid áttekintés második fele az eddigi kutatások főbb vonulatait tekinti át, különös figyelmet fordítva az 1970-es évektől kezdve felmerült új kutatási irányokra és metódusokra. Mindemellett az alábbi tanulmány egyik fő szempontja annak bemutatása, mivel járulhat hozzá a régészet a bizánci mindennapok megértéséhez.

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Abstract

The present paper describes and discusses a group of iron and copper-alloy rotary keys characterised by a moveable joint connecting the shaft and the key-ring, appearing in the seventh-century material record of the Carpathian Basin whose origins can be sought in the Mediterranean. While the few published examples of the class were in previous studies mainly regarded as Roman-period artefacts secondarily re-used as amulets by the Avar-period population of the Carpathian Basin, the present study argues that these pieces in fact have a sixth-to seventh-century production date, being thereby contemporaneous with their deposition in seventh-century mortuary assemblages. Taking this observation as a springboard for further interpretation, an overview of the possible meanings and symbolic associations attached to keys in Roman, late antique, and early medieval times is offered. The main argument presented here is that besides serving amuletic purposes, some of the Avar-period keys could in all probability have conveyed more explicit messages about their owners, such as that of their feminity and of their economic role and authority in their respective households. The Appendix supplementing the present paper seeks to provide a theoretical reconstruction of a wooden casket buried with the woman interred in Grave 119 of the Kölked-Feketekapu B cemetery, one of the burials yielding a Mediterranean hinged rotary key.

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Sixth- and Seventh-Century Elephant Ivory Finds from the Carpathian Basin •

The Sources, Circulation and Value of Ivory in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Elefántcsonttárgyak A 6–7. Századi Kárpát-Medencében

Az Elefántcsont Forrása, Forgalma És Értéke A Késő Ókorban És A Kora Középkorban
Archaeologiai Értesítő
Authors:
Ádám Bollók
and
István Koncz

Jelen tanulmány célja az elefántcsont mint nyersanyag lehetséges forrásaira és értékére vonatkozó, a római és a késő ókori mediterrán világból származó adatok áttekintése, információkat nyerve ezáltal a 6–7. századi Kárpát-medence régészeti hagyatékából előkerült elefántcsonttárgyak eredetére, elérhetőségére és árára vonatkozólag. A hellenisztikus kortól a kora középkorig terjedő időszakban a Földközi-tenger vidéki elefántcsont-kereskedelem dinamikáját megvilágító írott és tárgyi források áttekintése nyomán úgy tűnik, hogy a 6–7. századi Közép-Duna-vidéki elefántcsonttárgyak nyersanyaga a Földközi-tenger medencéjén keresztül Afrikából, ezen belül is talán a kontinens keleti feléről érkezett. Megállapítható emellett, hogy a mediterrán világ keleti és középső régióiban készült, a Kárpát-medencébe elkerült elefántcsonttárgyak nem tekinthetők kiemelkedően drága luxusjavaknak, többségük viszonylag szerény áron megvásárolható volt.

The present paper seeks to examine the available data on the possible sources and monetary value of elephant ivory, both as raw material and finished products, in the Roman to late antique Mediterranean world in order to gain a better understanding of the wider context of elephant ivory artefacts dating from the sixth and seventh centuries discovered in the Carpathian Basin. After reviewing the written and material evidence on the dynamics of the Mediterranean elephant ivory trade from the Hellenistic period until the Early Middle Ages, our main conclusion is that the raw material of the sixth- to seventh-century ivory objects of the Middle Danube Region in in all probability originated from Africa, possibly from the continent’s eastern parts, and arrived to this area through the Mediterranean. It is further argued that the few artefacts manufactured of elephant ivory in the eastern and central regions of the Mediterranean that reached the Carpathian Basin cannot be regarded as extremely expensive luxury goods – in fact, their majority would have been quite affordable to customers of more modest means.

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Abstract

The present paper publishes the archaeological remains of a monastery church excavated in 1958 at Khirbet er-Ras (Kefar Truman), Israel. The description of the architectural remains, including the three-aisled basilica and the structures surrounding it, is based on the archival documentation. This is followed by the detailed description and analysis of the church's mosaic pavements, preserved in the nave and in both side-aisles, with special emphasis on the mosaic decoration of the nave's central panel, set as a carpet design made up of florets enclosed by outlined scales, whose Levantine parallels are reviewed. In contrast to the sixth-century CE date proposed in previous reports, the setting of the floor is here placed into the third quarter of the fifth century CE based on Leah Di Segni's palaeographic date of the mosaic's inscription located in front of the sanctuary area. Using this revised date as a springboard for further discussion, a less linear stylistic development of mosaic floors covered by floral semis ornaments embedded in plain and outlined scales is suggested.

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Abstract

Elephant ivory, a prestigious and valuable raw material in the post-Roman West and Byzantium between the 5th and 7th centuries AD, may originate from various sources. While both written and art historical evidence suggests that in the case of early medieval artefacts, African provenance is more likely than Asian, no data at hand is conclusive. The present paper investigates, with the help of FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, carbon and nitrogen concentration and nitrogen isotope (δ15N) analyses, the material resources of elephant ivory artefacts discovered in 6th- and 7th-century AD archaeological context in the Carpathian Basin to contribute to our understanding of late antique long-distance trade networks and economic relations.

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