Two Scandinavian Plate Brooches from Northern Poland
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Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, ul. Uniwersytecka 3, 90-137 Łódź
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2014;LXV(65):283–290
The settlement in site II at Tałty, Mrągowo County, discovered by accident before World War II, lies about 1 km to the south of the town Mikołajki, on the shore of Lake Mikołajskie (Fig. 1). The site came under a rescue excavation in 2001. A metal detector survey of the site resulted in the discovery of a bronze bow brooch with a head and foot decorated with stylised representations of animal heads (Fig. 2, 3:1a.b). This brooch appears to be a simplified variant, or an imitation, of an ornate brooch found at Stora Gairvide on Gotland (Fig. 3:2). The Tałty brooch would confirm evident Scandinavian influence exerted on the manufacture of bow brooches by the people of the Olsztyn Group during the Late Migration Period which are observed also in other brooches from Masuria (Fig. 4). Another, fragmented brooch (Fig. 6:1a.b) was discovered by accident in northern Greater Poland at Brzostowo, Piła County (Fig. 5). It is likely to be a derivative of richly decorated relief brooches, forms that are mostly recorded in Denmark (Fig. 6:2.3). Both brooches may be dated not earlier than to the second quarter of the 6th century. Despite sharing a link with Scandinavia they probably reflect different processes. The brooch from Tałty may be interpreted as a result of South-Eastern Scandinavian impact on the Olsztyn Group, which was developing vigorously during the 6th century. The brooch fragment from Brzostowo would document the movement of human groups down the route running from southern Scandinavia to the region lying south of the Carpathian range.