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Re: [gothic-l] Gothic princely grave of Ossmannstedt

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  • greg scaff
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 24, 2003
      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
      460s AD.

      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
      the grave.

      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
      Theoderic's nice.


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