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valokuva 388 kB

Type: Inhumation burial.

Site: Raisio, Kansakoulunmäki Hill.

Period: Viking Age / Crusade Age / Early Middle Ages.

Dating: 12th Century.

Photographer: A.L. Hirviluoto.


In the grave lay a woman from the 12th Century. Because of her fine burial dress, archaeologists speculate that she may have been quite wealthy. The skeleton was almost completly decayed, as can be seen in the picture. This is a usual occurence in the acrid Finnish soil.

There were three pennacular brooches on the breast of the deceased. The ones on the sides fastened a shirt on the shoulders. The one on the middle could be used to fasten a shawl, or a cloak, that was normally carried on the shoulders. In the grave, however, the cloak had been spread over the body cross-wise. On the left side of the deceased, the bronze spiral ornamentation of the lower rim of the shawl can be seen.

On the throat of the deceased a string of 19 glass beads, a bone bead, and a fine bead of silver filigrain is visible. The ornamentation of the wollen headwear's lower rim, that is made of bronze, can be seen on the jaw. The cap was not properly on the head of the deceased, but covered her face instead. The bronze spiral ornaments from the apron remains, and the remains of moccasin-like leather footwear, are not in this picture.

Corroding bronze produces chemicals that preserve textiles from rotting. Because of this, bits of woollen cloth had been preserved in the vicinity of brooches and bronze spirals. Archaeologists Anna Liisa Hirviluoto and Leena Tomanterä were able to determine that the cap and the shawl had been blue and the shirt dark. Apparently there had been a skirt made of white wool under the shirt. Anna Liisa Hirviluoto has made a reconstruction drawing of this rather typical dress of a 12th Century woman.


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