Objects on this board were all presented to the departmental Commission of Antiquities on 23 May 1871.
The fibula represented is of a fairly rare type. Two half-shells of bronze are assembled, one forming as a small shell, this fibula called ‘turtle-shaped’, decorated with fantastic animal motifs is clearly of Scandinavian style. It was used between 9th and the middle of 10th century as feminine adornment in Denmark and in the English coastal regions, where Scandinavian influence was strong.
The fact that a woman had been buried with such a jewel in St. Martin near Pîtres has been interpreted as evidence of a Scandinavian facility in this town near the Seine. Indeed, the custom of being buried with objects is passed among the Franks, considered pagan, but still subsists in parts of Scandinavia. The Scandinavian style of a part of funerary help confirm the Nordic origin of the ritual and of the deceased.
In light of recent historiography on the Scandinavian colonization, another interpretation is possible: this woman could have been of Frankish origin and have been buried in the Scandinavian fashion to mark her being a member of this new leading group, steming from a merger between Scandinavian leaders and Frankish aristocrats on a new political and cultural Franco- Scandinavian identity.
For further details :
Abbé Cochet, Notice sur deux fibules scandinaves trouvées à Pîtres (Eure) en 1965 et entrées au musée de Rouen, Rouen, librairie H.Boissel, 1871.
P. Périn, « Les objets vikings du musée des Antiquités de la Seine-Maritime à Rouen », dans Recueil d’études en hommage à Lucien Musset, Cahier des Annales de Normandie n°23.
Fonds de la commission des antiquités
105 x 75 cm
Archives départementales de Seine – Maritime
6 Fi 7/20
Politics and military links
Rouen – Archives Départementales