The long equal-arm brooch in England

Suggested period: EARLY MEDIEVAL

We have an odd group of perhaps two dozen equal-arm brooches in south-east England which seem to date from c. 450-550. Their only formal parallel is Thӧrle’s Type III, found in later contexts (c. 560-640) and a long way away (southern Switzerland, northern Italy and the Istrian peninsula). These English brooches rarely appear in graves, and so have attracted little notice hitherto. The big questions for this research are, firstly are they related to the Continental Thӧrle Type III, and if so, which way did the influences travel and how? How do they fit in to the rest of the early Anglo-Saxon brooch repertoire; what motivations went into choosing them as a brooch? Working with people studying excavated vs. detected brooch types in specific counties (see Costume in Life and Death), we could review the statistics of brooch use to work out whether the long equal arms really are under-represented in graves, or whether the sheer volume of finds being recorded by the PAS means that eventually even types as rare as these would be noticed. It is also be essential to review the method of fixing and fastening the pin, as this varies from one area of Europe to another and changes over time.

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Created by: Helen Geake
Created: 2 years ago
Updated by: Helen Geake
Updated: About one year ago

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