When members of the upper class of the Alemannic died in the early Middle Ages, they probably got much of what was dear to them during their lives to the grave. This can now be seen in unusual burials from Denningen, County of Donau Reis. They contained “real luxury goods,” said Bavarian conservationist Matthias Weil. In one of the tombs, archaeologists from the Bavarian State Preservation Office found an ivory comb with high-quality inscriptions, and in the other a ceramic bowl originally made in North Africa. Power now makes discoveries in one press release general.
In the sixth century, the Roman Empire practically ceased to exist, at least in the West. However, even in the former Reichsrandlage, contacts with the territory of the old Reich continued – for example through trade, but also through military campaigns. In the disputes between the Ostrogoths and the Eastern Roman Empire over the region of today’s Italy, for example, the Alemanni also participated, the memorial office wrote. The Alemanni were the Germanic tribe that settled parts of what is now southwestern Germany at that time. They were under the rule of the Franks in the sixth century.
A man aged 40 to 50 was buried in one of the two graves. A long sword, spear, shield, battle axe and a bronze basin define him as a high-ranking warrior. Spurs and parts of the bridle indicate that he was a racer. In keeping with this, a horse was placed next to him in a pit. At the right foot of the tomb were the remains of a bag containing tools for hair and beard care: scissors and an ornate ivory comb.
African porcelain – and African animals?
The carvings show a lively hunting scene where deer-like animals seem to jump away from predators. It is possible that animals from Africa are already on display here, experts write in the state office, but it is not possible to accurately determine the species. Hardly any ivory combs have survived from the sixth century, and few show religious decorations. This also makes the Deininger Kamm an unusual piece in terms of art history, says Johann Friedrich Tolksdorf, archaeologist in charge at the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Antiquities. The completely broken piece had to be assembled in meticulous work in the restoration workshop.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”