03.-06.04.2018, Analyses session in Mannheim – A first test

The first series of analyses began in April 2018 and as many workflows still had to be coordinated, this investigation session can be seen as a test for the following large series in May and June. We got the kind permission to analyse the finds from the Landesmuseum Mainz (disc of the Weiskirchen type from Schwabsburg, coin from a grave in Nierstein. And thanks to the thorough research of Dr. Birgit Heide the finger ring from Nackenheim, which was believed to have been lost, could be investigated as well.

1: Disc of the Weiskirchen type of the destroyed grave from Schwabsburg (Lkr. Mainz-Bingen) with coral and amber studs on thin sheet gold, which is plated on a bronze disc, which in turn is fixed on an iron disc. – 2: Gold stater “Regenbogenschüsselchen” from Nierstein (Lkr. Mainz-Bingen), grave 2. – 3: Finger ring from Nackenheim (Lkr. Mainz-Bingen), isolated find. – Photos: S. Fürst/CEZA.

While the disc from Schwabsburg is very popular, the finger ring from Nackenheim is less known. It was sometimes presented in context of early Latène Art, but our analytical results of its composition suggest a different date (publication in progress).

Due to the friendly support by Dr. Günter Brücken from the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate (Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe) we were able to analyse all the gold objects from the extraordinary cemetery of Worms-Herrnsheim in the course of this project. And during that first session we started with the gold objects of the second elite burial from Worms-Herrnsheim, which is stored in the Museum im Andreasstift in Worms (thanks to Claudia Weissert). The burial of a woman contained two bracelets, two finger rings and four earrings made of gold besides other objects like an Etruscan beaked-flagon.

Earrings no. 1-4 from the second elite burial of Worms-Herrnsheim. – Photos: S. Fürst/CEZA; REM images: R. Schwab/CEZA.

While the bracelets and finger rings are rather simple, the four earrings stand out due to their comparatively elaborate design. The rings are constructed of two wires, one plain and one beaded. The smooth ring is bent over at one point in the form of a loop with three bulges. On top of this loop, a grape granulation is fixed, formed by four granules as a basis and a fifth one on the top. The bead wire is soldered between the plain wire. At the other end, the bead wire protrudes slightly beyond the two ends of the smooth wire and forms a hook. This hook fits exactly into the opposite loop and secures the earring from opening. The microscopic investigation show clear differences in the amount of solder used. In one case (earring 3) clearly too much solder had been applied, so the lower granules are literally fused with the wire underneath. The closest parallel for this kind of earring comes from Bad Nauheim in Hessen. Specimens with lesser similarity are known from Eastern France.


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