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Stratum plus. 2013. №5

Yu. M. Lesman (†), S. S. Ryabtseva (Kishinev, Moldova)

About Rings with Many Beads, European Fashion and Ethnographic Dress

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Pages: 309-336

The authors analyze the medieval temple rings and earrings with four or more metal beads strung on a ring. Most of the remains are associated with Eastern Europe, primarily with Novgorod region. There are known about 400 of these ornaments in the area from Karelia and Frisia to the Caucasus and Slovenia.
Five main types of jewelry with many beads can be distinguished. The earliest type (over 30 finds) — are the rings with beads separated by wire spirals. The earliest ones date back to the second or third quarter of 13th c. and are a modification of rings with three beads. They had been spread until late 14th c. In the last decades of 13th c., in Novgorod, there appeared the most numerous (over 300 finds) type — rings with equal smooth spherical hollow beads placed on a ring without wire spiral delimiters. Some specimens are cast. Such decorations got spread in Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Podlasie, Volhynia, Podolia, the Middle Dnieper area and Moldova, and in the east — in Moscow area, the Middle Volga area and trans-Urals since 14th c. New types are documented for 15th c. — alternation of different beads: spherical smooth and filigree of the same size; large spherical and small beads of complex forms; with alternation of large multifaceted and small beads. The last type was spread until late 17th c.
Origin of these decorations is not related to any ethnic groups’ attire, but rather a manifestation of the last stage of the general trend spread in 11th—13th cc. Russia towards more complicated decorations, as well as influence of the European fashion and development of a wide-spread specific set of jewelry in 13th—15th cc.

Keywords: Novgorod, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe, earrings, temple rings, jewelry decorations

Information about authors:

Yury Lesman.
Candidate of Historical Sciences.
Svetlana Ryabtseva (Kishinev, Moldova). Candidate of Historical Sciences. The Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Stefan cel Mare Bd., 1, Kishinev, MD-2001, Moldova
E-mail: [email protected]

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