Fibulas with bent stem Cover Image

Fibulele turnate romano-bizantine
Fibulas with bent stem

Author(s): Andrei Măgureanu
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Editura Academiei Române
Keywords: Fibulas;bent stem;VIth century AD;Lower Danube;the Avar zone;Byzantine Empire

Summary/Abstract: Cast fibulas with bent stem are one of the most characteristic finds from the second half of the VIth century on Lower Danube. They have a precise area of spreading and a well establish chronology. In this paper I try to propose a new approach regarding typology by renouncing to old criteria. So I suggest the stylistic criteria as the only one to form groups of fibulas. Some of the groups are specific for a small area and some have a larger spreading. Of course, this aspect, the spreading, will always depend of the publication of museum collections from the South of Danube. Also, I try to draw a more accurate image regarding how this type of fibula was produce. The solitary picture of the workshop from Drobeta is now more complete because of some other discoveries, especially those from Caričin Grad. Drobeta still remains the only workshop for mass production. Concerning the chronology, I think I succeed to argue a particular aspect. Most of the fibulas cease to exist after the end of the VIth century. But this is true only for the south Danube finds, because in the Avars area, this type of fibula is still in use till mid VIIth century. A long discussion has been taking related to the dimension of fibulas. I think that beside the economic or mercantilist explications, it can be suggested one based on the dressing rule: the big fibulas was wearied on shoulder level, while the small one was wearied on the basin level. As well, are some indications that fibulas were use, sometime, in pare or attach by a small chain by other dressing elements. It is hard to indicate, according to present data, if this type of fibula belonging to the male or female costume. Finds from the graves suggest the appurtenance to female costume, while the pieces from military fortress hint the male costume. Till new data this is an open discussion. Not to forget the possibility that it can be a unisex type of fibula or the differences of appurtenance can suggest different areas. I have in mind possible differences between the Avar zone and the South of Danube area (Byzantine Empire) Anyway, these fibulas are not an ethnic symbol. It represents a Byzantine product that, in small number, was exported in Barbaricum. It is the mark of a dressing mode developed in a short time and in a well delimited area.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 99-155
  • Page Count: 57
  • Language: Romanian