Re: [gothic-l] Gothic princely grave of Ossmannstedt
- Hello all,
This interested me, as I recall , in one of Heather's books, reading of a high incidence of apparently foreign graves in a Gothic cemetary ( 1 out of 9, in Romania?) I've wondered if there were a comparable number of identifiably Gothic graves found in non-Gothic territory, or just how far away from Gothic territory Gothic graves have been found.
Happy Holidays, all.
faltin2001 <dirk@...> wrote:
There is a nice article on the grave of Ossmannstedt near Weimar
(Thuringia) in the latest volumes of the RGA. The article provides a
full discussion of the grave. About the body the article states that
the well preserved skeleton was that of a 25 year old women, who was
about 1.65m tall. Her skull had been artificially deformed in
childhood. Many examples of artificial cranial deformation were found
in the same area in cemeteries at Weimar, Grossoerner, Stoessen,
Erfurt etc. The cranial deformation was likely applied when the women
was a child under Hunnic rule. Hence, the grave is dated to about the
Her grave goods consisted of a large and very rare eagle fibula with
almandins. The fibula was produced at the Black Sea and signs of wear
show that it was already fairly old when it was buried. The fibula is
slightly younger than a similar piece from Pietroassa, but older than
the ones from Italian sites, which confirms the relative dating of
She also had a massive golden belt buckle, with almandines, which was
also produced at the Black Sea. Finally, other jewellery included
polyeder-shaped ear-rings and a large golden finger ring of Byzantine
manufature, and silver fittings from a purse, which contained a bone
comb, pincers, other utensils and the fragments of a bronze mirror.
The mirror was deliberately broken at the burial as was the custom
among steppe people. The comb was decorated with Christian motives,
indicating that she was likely a Christian and of the highest social
class. All the objects were fitted to her dress, except for the eagle
fibula, which was removed from the usual position on the shoulder and
used to secure her death shrowd. This may have been both practical
and symbolic, because the eagle symbolised the resurection in the
Arian church. The body had been placed in a wooden coffin, but no
mount or other sign likely marked the grave to prevent grave robbing
which was so common at the time.
The author of the article, W. Timpel statets that there can be little
doubt that the lady of Ossmannstedt was an Ostogothic princess who
had travelled to the centre of the Thuringian kingdom sometime in the
460sAD, perhaps as bride for a Thuringian prince. The grave of
Ossmannstedt, together with other graves in the same area show that
the Thuringians had close relations with the Ostrogoths already one
or two generations before the marriage of Hermenefried with
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