Workshop production of brooches with religious symbolism around the year 1100 in Denmark

Mette Højmark Søvsø, Christian Vrængmose Jensen

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Small brooches with Christian motifs from the period of c. AD 1050–1150 occur frequently
amongst metal-detector nds in Denmark. Those known as Urnes brooches, bird-shapedbrooches and circular animal brooches are especially common nds over most of the country.In order to understand what lies behind the distribution and signicance of these brooches,
the issues of where they were made and who was responsible for production are key questi-
ons. The large number of nds must reect a serial form of production, but up to a few yearsago secure evidence of any workshop has been almost eectively absent. Presented in thispaper are two recent nds of workshops in which the manufacture of these types of brooches
took place, in Ribe and Aalborg respectively. On the basis of the archaeological contexts of
the workshops and the nds, it is proposed that this production is to be seen as primarily an
urban phenomenon, with the Church as initiator and key agent, directed at a broad circle ofcustomers. This may have been part of an evangelizing thrust with wider popular appeal inwhich these small but highly meaningful artefacts played an important symbolic role
TidsskriftDanish Journal of Archaeology
Sider (fra-til)1-31
Antal sider30
StatusUdgivet - 2020


  • smykker
  • symbolik
  • kristen mission
  • bronzestøbning
  • amuletter