E. European Ceremonial Migration Era Sword c.375 - 450 A.D. Aug 7, 2013 10:39:29 GMT
Post by Jack Loomes on Aug 7, 2013 10:39:29 GMT
Eastern Europe, early Migration Period, between 375 and 450 A.D.
Eastern European sword type with a fine selection of accessories, including a sword charm. Double-edged, narrow blade with a flat, lenticular cross section and a short point. Well restored blade with largely preserved edges. Long, narrow and tapered tang. A hollow, rhombical crossguard made of silver. Set on one side with reddish almandines (one stone missing) in a gold cloisonné work pinned to the guard. The grip of hammered silver with 18 cross ribs, divided vertically in the centre, and narrow upper and lower ring. The pommel is missing, the hilt reconstructed.
Total length 83.8 cm, blade length 71 cm, upper width 4.6 cm, greatest thickness of the blade 4 mm. Length of the crossguard 9.7 cm, height 1.6 cm. Weight 614 g.
Enclosed a silver buckle with an oval bow, which must have been part of the baldric. The oval mounted plaque with a semi-circular cut garnet cabochon in gold mounting with a circular imitated lace wire ornamentation. Bow width 3.8 cm, Width of the mounting 4.2 cm, total length 5.3 cm. weight 61.5 g. In addition an amber sword charm. Round, with an oval cross section. Diameter 6.1 cm, height 2.3 cm. Weight 50.0 g.
The typological and technical similarity to the spatha with the golden grip is obvious. A grading in the social hierarchy of the tribal aristocracy is displayed by the use of various materials for the crossguard and the grip. This silver sword model can therefore be ascribed to a high military leader just below a princely bearer of a golden grip spatha.
Of special significance is the amber pearl, which has the function of a good luck charm. Such talismans were fastened to a long loop on the hilt and played an important role in the religious life of the nomad warriors, as they were considered to bring good fortune in combat. It is not possible to determine the buried warrior's social status only by the materials used for the charms. Many princely graves contain charms made of simple materials (pottery, bone), while more plainly furnished nomad warrior graves also contain amber pendants and other charms set with stones.
Due to similar finds, this sword can historically and geographically be classified rather precisely. Cf. the references in the description of the spatha with the golden grip. The design of the silver hilt, as well as the one of the spatha with the golden grip, is only known from contemporaneous daggers from Eastern Europe and Middle Asia.