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Stratum plus. 2003-2004. №5

N. V. Khvoshchinskaya (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

New Evidence Supporting Existence of Crafts Industry at the Early Stage of Rurikovo Gorodishche (Rurik’s Fort)

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Pages: 305-308

The article studies peculiarities of the early medieval bronze casting craft in the Northern Russia. The author particularly focuses on the publication and interpretation of a small round bronze Scandinavian fibula (fig. 1) found on the Rurikovo Gorodishche. This fortified settlement located 2 km south of Novgorod was a large commercial and industrial East-European settlement in 9th – 10th cc. Its ornamentation follows the Elling style and is similar to clasps from Birka of I A1 type by Jansson’s classificatin (Jansson 1984: 60-61, Abb. 8: 2) The most remarkable feature of this fibula is not its rare style, but rather that it has never been used according to its destination, i.e. as a clasp. The author tends to regard this fibula as a stamp for casting a series of such things. To make a fibula according to a certain model they usually used folding clay moulds. An available genuine thing was used to imprint the face side with the ornament on one of the mould’s folds, while the back side was imprinted on the other. The article explains why the fragments of clay moulds for manufacturing of decorations with raised ornamentation largely spread among the German and Finnish peoples are such a rare find on the Old Russian medieval settlements.


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