Csontlemezes skatulyák és dobozkák a Kárpát-medence avar kori anyagában – Bard-boxes and small cases decorated with carved bone plates in the Carpathian Basin from the Avar Period

Balogh C.

Dolgozatok az Erdélyi Múzeum Érem- és Régiségtárából Új sorozat, pp.131-144, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: Dolgozatok az Erdélyi Múzeum Érem- és Régiségtárából Új sorozat
  • Page Numbers: pp.131-144


The present article examines the carved bone plates of the Avar archaeological material from the Carpathian Basin, wich are decorated the small bard-boxes and cases. This material was found in 22 graves from 13 Avar cemetery. The majority of archaeological sites are located in the Danube–Tisza Interfluve, in a strait zone near two the rivers. Primely they came up from female graves, but in four cases they were found from male graves. The small carved bone plates were usually found near the femur and elbow at the left site. The motive of these bone plates are similar to the motives of the bone rectangular hand-bag claps of the Avar Period. The similarity of the decoration is partly in relation to the form of the bone plates, I think that these carvings were made by worksmans or bone carved workshops using the same motives. These bone plates were simply stock together or were pasted on a kind of wood plate. The lenght of the bard-boxes was between 5.5 and 8 cm, the width was between 2 and 3,6 cm. The specification of the bard-boxes isn’t easy. Near some of them were found toilet tools. In these cases I think that these were toilet boxes containing oinment or face-powder. In another case these boxes contained other powders, grains or small things. The bard-boxes decorated with carved bone plates hanged usually ont he belt with bronze or iron chain. In grave 240. and 371. in the Szeged-Fehértó A. cemetery were found strait bone lath decorated with poin-circle motive. Similarly to early Byzantine relic boxes, the small wood boxes were decorated by them. The lid of the boxes could be like a roof form. The measurement of this cases could be similar to bard-boxes and these were similarly suitable to containe small things and grains too. The bard-boxes and small cases decorated with carved bone plates came up from average rich graves, in wich were generally characteristic archaeological finds. On the basis of the analysis of the archaeological finds these bard-boxes and small cases are dated to 2th–3th quarter of the 7th century. The origin of them must be investigated.