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  • Author or Editor: Ágnes B. Tóth x
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine a group of brooches whose numbers have been increasing in recent years to determine their origins, their relationship to each other and their role in the fine metalwork, goldsmith practice of the period. These brooches and pairs of brooches were found in ten sites scattered across a large geographic area (Szarvas, La-Rue-Saint-Pierre, Bernhardsthal, Uppåkra, Narona, Hemmingen, 'Italy', Collegno, Domoszló, Nagyvárad). The artefacts share common features that can aid in determining the areas of production for objects within the group. We can confidently date them to the second half of the 5th and the early 6th centuries A.D. and examine their role in the development of the so-called Thuringian-type brooches. Furthermore, they allow us to investigate changes in female attire and shed light on the relationships between the Middle Danube region and Southern Sweden (Skåne).

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Abstract

The Gepid Period row cemetery at Tiszaug-Országúti bevágás was unearthed in 2018–2019. Grave 301 was one of the outstanding burials amongst the 194 graves unearthed thus far. It kept the remains of a 9–11-year old boy, who was laid to rest in a scale-down burial created according to the funerary customs of the area and era but dressed in a mortuary costume and provided with goods befitting adult men. He had a purse hanging from his belt, containing an iron knife, and some pieces of flint. A double-row antler comb was placed beside his head. A cast copper alloy belt buckle with a shield-shaped pin base and punch-mark decoration fastened his clothing on the front. While buckles of this type were widely used at that time, the closest analogies to the punch-mark decoration could be collected from the Carpathian Basin. Based on those, the burial could be dated to the mid or late 6th century AD. Another outstanding feature of the cemetery was the four burials (including Grave 301) where the deceased were laid to rest in coffins made from or imitating log boats.

Grave 301 also contained a rounded conical ivory object. The optical microscope and vibration spectroscopy analyses confirmed the initial hypotheses of the finders about the raw material of the artefact. Despite carrying out a comprehensive survey for analogies and an analysis of production and use-related marks, we could not determine what the object could have been used for; it may be a semi-finished product, but it could also be a toy or amulet. At any rate, it was made from a raw material which was extremely rare in the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin in the period in question. Grave 301 was positioned in a cluster comprising more child burials, with the graves of two adult women at the fringes; the ongoing archaeogenetical investigations may shed light on the connections between them.

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