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Stratum plus. 2005-2009. №5

N. B. Krylasova (Perm, Russia)

Bimetallic Strikers

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Pages: 381-409

The author analyzes steel strikers with bronze handles, which are a bright feature of Finn-Ugric culture. Bimetallic strikers were common on vast territories from Western Siberia and Urals to Scandinavia within late 9th – early 11th cc. Cartography of finds of such items distinguishes several main centers of their distribution (Perm’ and Udmurt Cis-Ural, Western Siberia (the Ob basin) and Mari Volga River basin), with massive representation of most of the main types of strikers. Moreover, Perm and Udmurt Cis-Ural yields strikers of almost every known type. Steel zoomorphic strikers were first to spread over this territory; the idea of a zoomorphic handle made of bronze seems to have been borrowed from bearers of Saltovo-Mayak culture. One of the centers for manufacturing of these items could have been located on Rozhdestvenskoe fort; it yielded diverse forms as well as some discarded specimen of bimetallic strikers. Sites in Western Siberia provide a certain range of such strikers, with fine and detailed images on them. Mari Volga River basin yields strikers imported from Kama River basin, as well as from the West; moreover, some of the items were of local manufacturing. Main places where these strikers are found are aligned with the Volga Way. Finds of strikers in South-Eastern Ladoga basin include some subtypes typical exclusively for Vesi, as well as mass products of handcraft.  The center of production of strikers with two horsemen was Finland. Thus, strikers with decorative handles of bronze were first produced by the Ural population, while they gained wide popularity owing to a hidden sense, possibly connected with cosmogonist ideas.

Keywords: Bimetallic Strikers,Siberia, Urals, Scandinavia, Finland


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