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Twilight of the Kings

Brooches as a sign of identity

Fibulae, safety-pin-like clothing fasteners, were in prehistoric times designed in many different and complex ways. As clothing ornaments, they are closely associated with individual wearers and are frequent grave goods. Their regular occurrence with regionally typical pottery and the limitation of certain forms to clearly defined geographical regions indicate a role as signs of identities. These identities may, for example, have been clans, tribes, or tribal associations. In some cases, the main areas of distribution coincide conspicuously with historically documented tribal areas - as is the case with the Thuringii, for whom pincer-headed brooches are particularly characteristic.


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