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Northern oval brooch assemblage

Date made: Viking: 800-1265

Description: Two decorated oval brooches, a buckle and strap-end and a glass bead from a typical female burial of the Viking Age.

The brooches are made from bronze and decorated with silver wire. The intricate patterns show stylised birds. This was a popular design in the Viking Age, and you can see similar motifs on many of the Manx Crosses. The brooches were pinned near the shoulders of an apron-like dress, known as a hangerok which was worn over a long tunic. The hangerok was made from wool or linen and the brooches held the garment together.

Strings of beads were often worn between the brooches, along with small metal objects such as needle cases, keys and tweezers. This very dark blue glass bead may have been made in Ireland.

The belt buckle and strap-end are both made from bronze. Belts were made from leather or woven cloth, and usually only the metal fittings survive. The ring-and-dot design is also on the bottom edge of the brooches.

These brooches were not found in a grave, but similar ones have been found buried with women (but not with men). They belonged to someone quite wealthy who dressed in a very typically Scandinavian fashion. These are the first examples of this type of brooch to be found in the Isle of Man and perhaps suggest that a woman from the Viking homeland was here, a thousand years ago.

Found by John Crowe and Craig Evans. Declared to be Treasure in July 2020.

Materials: copper alloy, flint, glass, iron, pottery, silver, wood

Date found: 2018.12.16

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 2021-0007

Subject tags : #MM100


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