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Introduction

  • Florin Curta
  • Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski
Chapter
Part of the New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture book series (NABHC)

Abstract

Metalworking in the Byzantine Empire is poorly studied. Not enough workshops have been excavated systematically, and many finds are without context. Technological developments, particularly casting, have received comparatively more attention. In that respect, the Velestino assemblage is of an exceptional importance, as nothing comparable is known for the entire Middle Byzantine period. The remarkable diversity of iconographic themes, technological solutions and alloys offers a unique opportunity to study the Middle Byzantine fine metalworking. Scholars have so far regarded the assemblages primarily as a source for pre-Christian religious beliefs, particularly the mythology of the early Slavs. That interpretation, however, is wrong. The alternative interpretation of the historical circumstances of the hoard is derived from the chronology and cultural links resulting from the archaeological and art historical analysis of the hoard’s components. Restoring Velestino to its late seventh- or early eighth-century context means to open a page of Middle Byzantine culture that was until now unknown.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florin Curta
    • 1
  • Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Archaeology and EthnologyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland

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