Tag Archives: Garnet

Conference Proceedings: Gemstones in the first Millennium

Researchers from different fields like archaeology, history, philology and natural sciences present their studies on ancient gemstones. Using precious minerals as an example, trade flows and craftsmanship, but also utilisation and perception are discussed in a cross-cultural and diachronic approach. The present volume aims at three main questions concerning gemstones in archaeological and historical contexts: »Mines and Trade«, »Gemstone Working« as well as »The Value and the Symbolic Meaning(s) of Gemstones«.


This volume contains the proceedings of the conference »Gemstones in the first Millennium AD« held in autumn 2015 in Mainz, Germany, within the scope of the BMBF-funded project »Weltweites Zellwerk – International Framework«.

You can preview the table of content and a preface here.

Introducing the International Framework project

Dieter Quast and Alexandra Hilgner from the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) in Mainz explain the initial questions of the project “Weltweites Zellwerk – International Framework” regarding the origin and development of garnet cloisonné jewellery in the early middle ages. Garnet gemstones from India arrived in a vast amount during the 6th century in the Merovingian kingdom in central Europe. In the 7th century, the cloisonné jewellery style was suddenly disappearing. Was it because of a change in fashion or did something happen to the former trade routes? The International Framework project, organised by the RGZM, the SAI Heidelberg and the LVR-LandesMuseum, Bonn with partners in Sweden, the UK and Hungary tries not only to find answers to these questions regarding the value and the meaning of the gemstone garnet, but also to understand the international trade and economic interactions in the “dark ages”.

Manufacturing and uses of backing foils – some technical experiments

Hello, I am Christiane Stempel, goldsmith, conservator and responsible for the technological examination of Early Medieval garnet objects that have been brought to the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz for scientific analyses within the project “Weltweites Zellwerk”.

During my work, I made some observations that raised questions regarding the manufacturing and the use of the patterned foils behind the garnets.

Fig. 1: Schematic figure of an Early Medieval garnet cloisonné (photo: RGZM/Ober)

Transparent stones were often underlaid with gold foils to reflect the light through the stone. This is particularly important when the stone is backed up with cement. In the Early Medieval period textured backing foils were used on a large scale. The three-dimensional pattern increased the reflective effect. I examined a great number of objects from different find-spots in Sweden, Anglo-Saxon England and the Rhineland and I found all the varieties of pattern commonly known from the literature such as standard waffle, boxed waffle (Varying in the number of enclosed squares [9 to 25]), ring-and-dot, lozenge, boxed lozenge and rectangle (stack bond). They only differ in fineness (number of lines/mm), depth of texture and contour sharpness.

Fig. 2 a-f: Foil pattern (RGZM/Stempel)


Unfortunately, the project nears its end and I would like to use the remaining time to carry out some technical experiments:

Producing the pattern

There are indications (see figures 3-7) that at least a number of foils weren’t manufactured with dies. It looks as if lines were traced immediately on to the foils to form the grid pattern.

Fig. 3: Buckle, Ailenberg, Württembergisches Landesmuseum Stuttgart A.V. III333 (photo: RGZM/Stempel)
Fig. 4: Disc brooch, Junkersdorf, Römisch-Germanisches Museum Köln 51,539 (photo: RGZM/Stempel)
Fig. 5: Disc brooch, Monsheim, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz O.15370 (photo: RGZM/Stempel)
Fig. 6: Disc brooch, Iversheim, LVR Landesmuseum Bonn 1960.667 (photo: RGZM/Stempel)
Fig. 7: Disc brooch, St.Severin, Römisch-Germanisches Museum Köln 50.286 (photo: RGZM/Stempel)

N. D. Meeks and R. Holmes described in their article “The Sutton Hoo Garnet Jewellery” an experiment with a scriber that they used to draw the lines directly onto the foils. But in their opinion, the result was not satisfying. (N. D. Meeks/R. Holmes, The Sutton Hoo garnet jewellery: an examination of some gold backing foils and a study of their possible manufacturing techniques. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 4, 1985, 143-157.) I would like to pick up the idea again, but instead of a scriber I will do the work with a profiled hand-operated tool, comparable to a creaser. It is used until today in bookmaking and leather processing to imprint decorative lines onto a leather surface. In contrast to a pointed scriber the elongated working face of a creaser can be of any cross-section.

Fig. 8: Creaser (photo: RGZM/Steidl)


The theory that has to be verified in practice is as follows:  The grid pattern can be formed with a sliding forward motion of the tool, running it along a ruler with moderate pressure to form parallel lines, then rotating the workpiece by 90 degrees and repeating the action. For my experiments, I will use a small creaser-like tool that I have made by removing the cut of a square rifle file. As foil materials, I will use tin foil (0.03 mm) as well as sterling silver foils of different thicknesses (0,025 mm to 0,04 mm).

Using foil for stone securing

Not a small number of foils seem to have a further purpose: In many cases, the foils are trapped between the stone edges and the surrounding metal of the setting. Is it possible to hold a stone in place with the foil?

Fig. 9: Disc brooch, Hürth-Kalscheuren, LVR Landesmuseum Bonn XV (photo: RGZM/Stempel)

If times permits, I would like to produce a foil in the way outlined above using a fire-gilded silver foil. In the next few weeks, I will report about my experiments and I am curious about the results and your comments.


Featured image: Buckle, Endre socken, Statens Historiska Museet Stockholm 484:12, detail: garnet cloisonné with foils behind the garnets. (photo: RGZM/Stempel)

Warrior Treasure: the Anglo-Saxon ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ after seven years of research

Chris Fern MA FSA, The Staffordshire Hoard Project

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon treasure, of gold, silver and garnet objects, at around 5kg. It was found in 2009 by a metal-detectorist and became an international sensation. Following seven years of conservation cleaning and reconstruction work, some seven-hundred objects have now been identified, from an original 4500 fragments. Most are fittings from richly-decorated swords, which were the possessions of warriors and maybe even princes and kings. Some were decorated with the sacred symbols of gods, both pagan and Christian. Other objects include a rare helmet and a small but significant collection of Christian items, including pectoral and processional crosses. Dating to the 7th century AD, the hoard shows us an early England that was wealthy and capable of great artistic achievement, but in an age of violence and warfare, and driven by the politics of the warband.

Dienstag, den 18. Oktober, 18.15 Uhr

Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum – Vortragssaal

Im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe “Weltweites Zellwerk”

See the full program here!


Foto: (c) http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk

Gemstones and Gem Deposits of Sri Lanka – with special emphasis on Geology, Occurrence , Varieties and Mining.

Dr. Gamini Zoysa, Ceylon Gemmological Services

Sri Lanka has long been known as one of the world’s most important gem producing countries. Specially as a leading source for fine quality Blue Sapphires & its other varieties. The genesis of gemstones in Sri Lanka has been a subject for much discussion. The gems are mostly mined from the alluvial deposits underlain by Precambrian metamorphic rocks. The main gem bearing areas are confined to the geological division called highland complex which is located in the central part of the country. Over 3200 legal gem mines have been in active operation in the past years. The depth of the gem gravel in a shaft may vary from 10 to 25 meters. There are also evidences for occurrence of primary deposits of Sapphire, Moonstone , Aquamarine, Garnet within the island. In addition to the major commercially viable gem varieties such as Sapphires, Garnet, Chrysoberyl, Topaz, Zircon, Moonstone, Tourmaline, Beryl, Quartz there are over 80 varieties of nontraditional gems are recorded.

Dienstag, den 25. Oktober, 18.15 Uhr

Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum – Vortragssaal

Im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe “Weltweites Zellwerk”

See the full program here!


Foto: (c) http://www.aigsthailand.com

Garnet brooches – Jewellery for women in their prime of life?

Deutsche Version

Today I would like to present to you a blog concerning different archaelogical topics: “Archaeologiskop” by Dr. Doris Gutsmiedl-Schümann.

In particular one post is of special interest for the topic of our blog.  The post is titled: “Auf den Spuren unserer Vorfahren: Archäologie frühmittelalterlicher Gemeinschaften am Beispiel der merowingerzeitlichen Bevölkerung von Aschheim, Lkr. München” and was published 06/25/2015.

Blogpost by Doris Gutsmiedl-Schümann

It deals with an early medieval cemetery on the countryside near Munich with ca. 450 burials dating from ca AD 480  to ca AD 680 . By analysing the finds and including the anthropological data, like sex and age of the deceased, Doris Gutsmiedl-Schümann could show a distinction of grave goods varying with the age of the deceased. With respect to our project the observations regarding garnet brooches are of special interest. These were obviously limited to women who have reached the high point of their social development.

Read the full blogpost here: http://archiskop.hypotheses.org/61

Granat -Fibeln: Schmuck für die Frau in den besten Jahren?


Hier möchte ich auf einen Blog aufmerksam machen, der verschiedene archäologische Themen behandelt: Archaeologiskop von Dr. Doris Gutsmiedl-Schümann.

Besonders ein Beitrag ist im Kontext unseres Forschungsprojekts interessant. “Auf den Spuren unserer Vorfahren: Archäologie frühmittelalterlicher Gemeinschaften am Beispiel der merowingerzeitlichen Bevölkerung von Aschheim, Lkr. München” wurde am 25.06.2015 veröffentlicht und behandelt das frühmittelalterliche Gräberfeld Aschheim-Bajuwarenring im Kreis München.

Blogpost by Doris Gutsmiedl-Schümann

Dort wurden ca. 450 Gräber aus der Zeit zwischen ca. 480 und 680 nach Chr. gefunden. Unter Einbezug der anthropologischen Ergebnisse wie Geschlecht und Alter der Bestatteten konnte Doris Gutsmiedl-Schümann Unterschiede in den Grabbeigaben respektive des Alters der Verstorbenen. Von besonderem Interesse für den Kontext unseres Forschungsprojekts erscheint mir die Erkenntnis, dass Schmuck mit Granateinlagen erst bei Frauen in fortgeschrittenem Alter vorkam, die den Höhepunkt ihrer sozialen Stellung erreicht hatten.

Der komplette Beitrag hier: http://archiskop.hypotheses.org/61




Garnet jewellery in Norway: The Norwegian disc-on-bow brooches and Viking memories

Ann Zanette Tsigaridas Glørstad & Ingunn Marit Røstad,  Museum of Cultural History, Oslo

The continental tradition with the use of garnets in jewellery from the early Middle Ages spread north up to Norway during the 6th and 7th centuries, albeit used in a much lesser degree. Garnets are, however, frequently used in the so-called disc-on-bow brooches. These are one of the most spectacular jewellery types we know of from this period in Scandinavia. They are usually made of gilded copper alloy and the surface is covered with garnets set in cloisonné technique. The manufacturing of the brooches take place in the period between c. 550–800 AD, i.e. the period leading up to the Viking Age. However, many of the brooches have been found in Viking graves, and are thus quite old when buried. How is this phenomenon to be understood?

This is the abstract of the presentation held during the lecture series in summer/autumn 2016.

See the full program here!

Jewellery and elite networks in Early Medieval Europe: some initial findings

Toby Martin, University of Oxford

During the fifth to seventh centuries AD, an ostentatious style of feminine dress flourished in Europe featuring large and decorative brooches. Thanks to the simultaneous (and perhaps not coincidental) rise of the furnished burial rite, thousands of these objects survive in museum collections. The geographical scale of this style was unprecedented, covering most of modern day Europe, from Norway to lowland Britain and Iberia, across to the Ukraine and up into the Baltic. As such, its analysis has much to tell us about contacts between populations in Europe, and how they used styles of jewellery as a means of creating and negotiating a material and social network. Traditionally, this material has been analysed using typology with the aim of grouping the material to reveal information about migration or ethnicity and more recently other forms of identity. Therefore, both the subject of enquiry and the method used in its investigation have a stated aim to reduce complex relationships into delineated groupings populated by objects or by people. In this presentation a new Europe-wide database of this material will be introduced and used to illustrate the possibilities of an alternative means of investigation. Instead of typology, a formal network analysis will be used to switch the focus of attention to the complex relationships between objects, and the web of linkages that these relationships create when examined en masse.

This is the abstract of the presentation held during the lecture series in summer/autumn 2016.

See the full program here!

Examination of garnets and their provenance

Deutsche Version

Within my master thesis in the degree course geosciences at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz I examine the spectroscopic properties of garnets as well as the inclusions in them with different methods. The goal is to get better statements for the provenance of gemstones.

Working at the spectrometer Nicolete 6700 FT-IR to collect spectra in the mid-IR and near-IR spectral ranges.

The term Garnet stands for a group of various minerals, which are seen similarly in the crystal structure and formula. They may be partial mixable among themselves. In this case miscibility means that two or more different minerals from the group of garnets can occur together and form one unit, thus one crystal, because of their similar structural and chemical composition.
Essentially, there are two series, the Pyralspit- and Ugrandit series. The former is aluminum garnets with magnesium (Pyrope), iron [three] (almandine) or manganese (Spessartin), temptation are calcium-grenade with chromium (Uwarowit), aluminum (Grossular) or iron [two] (Andradit). The garnet deposits of the jewels in usual belong to the Pyralspit group.

Through to the large mass of processed garnet in the early European Middle Ages, provides the question for the originated area of the raw material. In addition, the garnets were cut into thin platelets and these were used across the board, but remains of garnet grinding services are not to be found yet. This raises further questions as to whether the garnets were imported already honed and in which direction they were exported as raw material as well as already honed exemplar.

Examples of garnet platelets from a find in sweden. Foto: Michael Rychlicki

In order to determine possible areas of origin, the chemical compositions of as many garnet platelets are determined by X-ray fluorescence analysis. By this method, groups of garnets indicate which originated most likely in India, Sri Lanka and Bohemia. However, these allocations are based on the comparison with measurement results of garnets, which origin is not 100% guaranteed, because of the lack of exact details like the accurate provenance for example.

CaO/MgO-plot for the garnet finds in Sweden and in India. (In accordance to Greiff 2010)

Therefore it is the more gratifying that now samples are available that guaranteed are hailed from different federal states of India and were picked up by Borayin Larios himself.

Garnet samples from different mines in India (on 5mm square papaer)

These are examined on their chemical composition as usual and the results are compared with already collected data to improve the currently used method to assign the garnets origin by their chemistry. In addition, these samples, and other samples found in Sweden, using modern spectroscopic methods (UV-Vis, NIR-MIR and Raman spectroscopy) are examined to determine a dependence of the spectra-differences to the origin of the samples. In this manner discovered unique features may be useful as an additional discrimination criterion. Furthermore, inclusions are studied to show possible dependencies between the provenance and the other minerals.

Untersuchung von Granaten und deren Herkunft

Im Rahmen meiner Masterarbeit im Studiengang Geowissenschaften an der Johannes Gutenberg‑Universität in Mainz untersuche ich Granate mit Hilfe verschiedener Messmethoden auf ihre spektroskopischen Eigenschaften sowie ihre Einschlüsse. Das Ziel ist es, genauere Aussagen über die Herkunft der Edelsteine treffen zu können.

Arbeit am Spektrometer Nicolete 6700 FT-IR um Messungen innerhalb mittlerer und naher Infrarotstrahlung vornehmen zu können.

Der Begriff Granat bezeichnet eine Gruppe von verschiedenen Mineralen, die sich in der Kristallstruktur und -formel ähnlich sehen und untereinander teilweiße gut mischbar sein können. Unter Mischbarkeit versteht man hierbei die Tatsache, dass zwei oder mehr verschiedene Minerale der Granatgruppe aufgrund ihrer strukturellen und chemischen Ähnlichkeit gemeinsam auftreten und eine Einheit, also einen Kristall, bilden.
Im Wesentlichen gibt es zwei Reihen, die Pyralspit- und die Ugrandit-Reihe. Bei ersteren handelt es sich um Aluminium-Granate mit Magnesium (Pyrope), Eisen [dreiwertig](Almandin) oder Mangan (Spessartin), zweitere sind Kalzium-Granate mit Chrom (Uwarowit), Aluminium (Grossular) oder Eisen [zweiwertig](Andradit). Die Granateinlagen der Schmuckstücke gehören in der Regel der Pyralspit-Gruppe an.

Durch die große Masse an verarbeitetem Granat aus dem frühen europäischen Mittelalter stellt sich die Frage, aus welchem Abbaugebiet das Rohmaterial ursprünglich stammt. Zudem wurden die Granate zu dünnen Plättchen geschliffen und diese flächendeckend verwendet, Überreste von Granatschleifereien sind aber nicht zu finden. Wurden die Granate bereits geschliffen importiert? In welche Richtungen fand der Export des Rohmaterials, sowie der bereits bearbeiteten Steine statt?

Beispiele von Granat-Plättchen von Funden aus Schweden. Foto: Michael Rychlicki

Um mögliche Herkunftsgebiete bestimmen zu können, werden mittels Röntgen-Fluoreszenz-Analyse die chemischen Zusammensetzungen von möglichst vielen Granat-Plättchen bestimmt. Durch dieses Verfahren lassen sich Gruppen von Granaten erkennen, welche ihren Ursprung höchstwahrscheinlich in Indien, Sri Lanka und Böhmen haben. Allerdings basieren diese Zuordnungen auf dem Vergleich zu Messergebnissen von Granaten, deren Herkunft nicht zu 100% gesichert ist, da oft exakte Details wie z.B. die genaue Fundstelle fehlen.

CaO/MgO-plot der gRanatfunde in Schweden und Indien. (In Anlehnung an Greiff 2010)

Daher ist es umso erfreulicher, dass nun Proben zur Verfügung stehen, welche garantiert aus verschiedenen Bundesstaaten Indiens stammen und von Borayin Larios selbst gesammelt wurden.

Granatproben aus Indien (auf 5mm kariertem Papier)

Diese werden wie üblich auf ihre chemische Zusammensetzung untersucht und die Ergebnisse werden mit bereits erfassten Daten verglichen um die aktuell genutzte Methode, Granaten anhand ihrer Chemie eine Herkunft zuzuordnen, verbessern zu können. Außerdem werden diese Proben, sowie weitere in Schweden gefundene Proben, mit modernen spektroskopischen Methoden (UV-Vis-, NIR-MIR- und Raman-Spektroskopie) untersucht, um eine Abhängigkeit der Spektren –Unterschiede zu der Herkunft der Probe festzustellen .Auf diese Weise entdeckte eindeutige Merkmale können als weiteres Unterscheidungs-Kriterium hilfreich sein. Ebenso werden die Proben auf Einschlüsse untersucht um eventuelle Abhängigkeiten zwischen der Herkunft und den fremden Mineralen aufzuweisen.
Diese werden wie üblich auf ihre chemische Zusammensetzung untersucht und die Ergebnisse werden mit bereits erfassten Daten verglichen um die aktuell genutzte Methode, Granaten anhand ihrer Chemie eine Herkunft zuzuordnen, verbessern zu können. Außerdem werden diese Proben, sowie weitere in Schweden gefundene Proben, mit modernen spektroskopischen Methoden (UV-Vis-, NIR-MIR- und Raman-Spektroskopie) untersucht, um eine Abhängigkeit der Spektren –Unterschiede zu der Herkunft der Probe festzustellen .Auf diese Weise entdeckte eindeutige Merkmale können als weiteres Unterscheidungs-Kriterium hilfreich sein. Ebenso werden die Proben auf Einschlüsse untersucht um eventuelle Abhängigkeiten zwischen der Herkunft und den fremden Mineralen aufzuweisen.



Novak, G. A. / Gibbs, G. V. (1971): The crystal chemistry of the silicate garnets, in: The American Mineralogist, vol. 56, 1971; 791-825.

Greiff, S. (2010): Zur Herkunft der roten Granate an Schmuckobjekten des Erfurter Schatzfundes, in: Ostritz, S. (Hrsg.). Die Mittelalterliche jüdische Kultur in Erfurt, Band 2, Der Schatzfund, Analysen – Herstellungstechniken – Rekonstruktionen; Weimar; 482-487.

An outstanding jewel collar from the cemetery of Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (South-West Hungary)

Authors: Eszter HorváthZsófia Rácz

Deutsche Version

In Pannonia, in the south-western region of the Lake Balaton, in the 6th-7th century a population with broad international, Mediterranean and Western connections lived under the Avar rule. An important centre of power of this population was situated in the former Late Antique fortification of Keszthely-Fenékpuszta. Next to the horreum (granary) building of the fortress 36 graves of a 6th –7th-century cemetery have been unearthed. Grave 5 belonged to a girl richly furnished with golden and silver jewels: earrings, dress pin, disc brooch, ring and a unique composite jewel collar.

Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Hungary), grave 5, jewel collar, front-side
Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Hungary), grave 5, jewel collar, back-side.

Archaeometric analysis of this jewel collar was carried out within our project. The investigated artefact is constructed of triangle golden bezel settings (14 items remained) – decorated on both sides, on one side with granulation and on the other side with red garnet and glass inlays – as well as triangle lapis lazuli plates (6 items remained).

Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Hungary), grave 5, jewel collar, back-side (detail)


Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Hungary), grave 5, jewel collar, front-side (detail)

Originally, the triangles were interlaced by a double twine. At the lower edge of the golden triangles further circular bezel settings were soldered, filled with green and colorless glass inlays and in one case a garnet cabochon.

Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Hungary), grave 5, jewel collar, front-side (detail): The lower part of the composite elements of the jewel collar.

As an addition, at the end of these pendants small pearls might have been attached which presumably got fully weathered because of the soil acidity.

Identification of lapis lazuli as the raw material of an early medieval necklace (by means of Raman spektroscopy) is a real sensation.

Backing foil with punched ring-dot pattern in one of the triangle bezel settings of the jewel collar.
Details of the lapis lazuli plates of the jewel collar







In the discussed period this precious stone could have been imported from the region of Afghanistan, the Ural and the Baikal Sea and occurs very rarely in Early Medieval assemblages.

Details of the lapis lazuli plates of the jewel collar.
Details of the lapis lazuli plates of the jewel collar.






Analogues of this jewel collar are known from the territory of Byzantium, from Asia Minor (Lebanon: cemetery of Tyros), and from the Balkan (Bulgaria: Varna and Sadovec). The necklace from the Late Antique fortress of Sadovec is similarly composed of antithetical golden and lapis lazuli triangles, completed with amethyst beads. These intricate, composite necklaces imitated the garment of the Byzantine ruling family: wearing large jewel collars with pendants of precious stones and pearls was the privilege of the female members of the emperor’s family in the 6th century AD.

Ein besonderer Halsschmuck aus dem Gräberfeld von Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (West-Ungarn)

In Pannonien, am südwestlichen Ende des Balaton lebte im 6.-7. Jahrhundert eine Bevölkerung mit weiten internationalen, mediterranen und westlichen Kontakten unter awarischer Herrschaft. Ein wichtiges Machtzentrum dieses Gebietes befand sich in der früheren spätrömischen Befestigung von Keszthely-Fenékpuszta. Neben dem Horreum-Gebäude der Befestigung wurde eine Nekropole mit 36 Bestattungen aus dem 6.–7. Jahrhundert entdeckt. Grab 5 dieses Gräberfeldes enthielt die Bestattung eines Mädchens mit besonders reichen Beigaben: goldene Ohrringe, goldene und silberne Gewandnadeln, eine Scheibenfibel, einen Fingerring und einen einzigartigen, aus mehreren Teilen zusammengesetzten Halsschmuck.

Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Ungarn), Grab 5, Juwelenkragen, Vorderseite.
Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Ungarn), Grab 5, Juwelenkragen, Rückseite.

Im Rahmen des Zellwerk-Projektes wurden die archäometrischen Untersuchungen des Halsschmuckes (sog. Juwelenkragen) durchgeführt. Er wurde aus 14 dreieckigen goldenen Bandfassungen – auf der einen Seite mit Granulation, auf der anderen mit Granat- und Glaseinlagen verziert – und aus 6 dreieckigen Lapislazuli Plättchen zusammengesetzt.

Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Ungarn), Grab 5, Juwelenkragen, Vorderseite (Detail).
Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Ungarn), Grab 5, Juwelenkragen, Vorderseite (Detail).
Keszthely-Fenékpuszta-Horreum (Ungarn), Grab 5, Juwelenkragen, Rückseite (Detail).

Die Dreiecke waren ursprünglich auf einer doppelten Schnur aufgereiht. Zu den goldenen Dreiecken waren weitere runde Fassungen mit grünen und farblosen Glaseinlagen, bzw. mit einem Granatstein ergänzt. Auf dem unteren Teil der Einlagen befanden sich vermutlich einst echten Perlen die sich allerdings im sauren Bodenmilieu nicht erhalten haben.5.kép

Die Entdeckung der Lapislazuli Platten mit Hilfe von Raman-spektroskopischen Untersuchungen gilt als wahre Sensation.

Folienunterlage mit gepresstem Punkt-Kreis Motiv in einer der dreieckigen Bandfassungen des Halsschmuckes.
Lapislazuli Plättchen des Halsschmuckes in Detailaufnahmen.







Dieser Schmuckstein, dessen wichtigste Fundstellen sich in Afghanistan, in der Ural- und Baikalgegend befinden, kommt im frühmittelalterlichen Fundzusammenhängen nur sehr selten vor.

Lapislazuli Plättchen des Halsschmuckes in Detailaufnahmen.
Lapislazuli Plättchen des Halsschmuckes in Detailaufnahmen.

Typologische Gegenstücke des Juwelenkragens von Keszthely kennt man aus dem Byzantinischen Reich, aus Kleinasien (Libanon, Gräberfeld von Tyros), und aus dem Balkan (Bulgarien, Varna und Sadovec). Der Halsschmuck von Sadovec besteht ebenso aus entgegengesetzten goldenen und Lapislazuli Dreiecken, mit Amethystperlen ergänzt. Diese komplizierte Schmuckstücke folgen der kaiserliche Mode: das Tragen der größeren Juwelenkragen mit sog. Pendilien (eine Art von Hängeschmuck) wurde ab dem 6. Jahrhundert nach Christus das Privileg der weiblichen Mitglieder der kaiserlichen Familie.


Before the emporia: Garnets and elite exchange networks in the North Sea Zone, AD 400-700

Lecture held by Helena Hamerow, Oxford

This lecture will consider the exchange networks by which garnets – both as a component of ornamental metalwork and as a ‘raw’ material – circulated around the North Sea Zone during the fifth to seventh centuries, with a particular emphasis on Anglo-Saxon England. Possible entry points for this material and the mechanisms behind its distribution will be considered, as will the appearance and significance of raw, unmounted garnets deposited in bags or pouches in early medieval burials. Aspects of workshop production will also be touched upon, particularly in relation to composite disc brooches. Finally, evidence for the decline in the availability of garnets around the North Sea Zone will be considered, above all in the form of ‘cannibalized’ and recycled garnets.

Lecture held during the conference “Gemstones in the first Millennium AD. Mines, Trade, Workshops and Symbolism.” October 21st, 2015 at the Roemisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz (Germany).

Foto: West Hanney Brooch (detail), Institute of Archaeology Oxford University: Ian R.Cartwright (2013).