Prestige of the Germanic world – Jewellery and ornamentsGermanic ornamentation from Carnium
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Prestige of the Germanic world – Jewellery and ornaments

Germanic ornamentation from Carnium

The attire and ornamentation of the people from Carnium (present-day Kranj) were diverse and rich. The archaeological finds suggest that in addition to armed men of high birth there were also many wealthy women dressed in German fashion who, together with their children, were adorned with precious jewellery and attire. The Germanic peoples brought along their distinctive style – embellishments of precious stones and relief motifs. Gold or a gilded surface was inlaid with semi-precious stones, mostly almaldine, a mineral of the garnet group. The ornamentation bears relief motifs (tendrils, triangles, meanders) and barely recognisable animal figures. Several pieces of jewellery are in the form of a bird of prey, with prominent curved-beaks, such as the popular fibulae in the form of the letter S. 
Germanic women often wore necklaces of coloured glass beads. Isolated large beads from amber, chalcedony or glass hung from their belts; these are interpreted to have been magical pendants. 

Two large belt buckles from Kranj are a particularity among the finds og Gothic women's clothing. They are gilded and adorned with garnets. According to analyses, the garnets used for the decoration of objects discovered at the Slovenian excavation sites originated from India or Sri Lanka.
Object: Germanic ornamentation 
Description: Ornamentation and parts of clothing from the Migration Period  
Date/Period: 6th century 
Material: Different materials: gold, silver, bronze, garnet, glass, stone 
Location of find: Lajh in Kranj, Slovenia


Further reading

  • Timotej Knific: Gospe iz mesta Karnija. Kranjski zbornik 2005. Ljubljana 2005, pp. 331–343.
  • Timotej Knific: Medieval Stories from the Crossroads. Exhibition catalogue. Ljubljana 2017, pp. 49–53.