Viking Age Ringed Pins

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Viking Age Ringed Pins from Dublin by Tomas Fanning. The copper-alloy and iron ringed pins from the various Dublin sites housed in the National Museum of Ireland comprise the largest and most comprehensive collection of such pins in existence. Comparable examples hve been found in excavations at ringforts and crannogs in many parts of Ireland, and less frequently on early monastic and church sites. Some of the finds from native contexts have come from pre-Viking levels of excavation, lending support to the theory that this particular type of dress-fastener originated in Ireland. The most important pins in this catalogue are from the Fishamble Street site where excavations commenced in 1975, where the Viking Age levels provided the single most important collection of ringed pins from an individual site in Ireland or indeed elsewhere in Europe. The completeness of the Dublin corpus has enabled the author Tomas Fanning to to provide an analysis of the various ringed pin forms current during the Viking period. Each group is treated initially with reference to its distinctive fomr and decorative features. The stratigraphic and contextual evidence at the various Dublin sites was important to the formulation of a typological sequence for the ringed pin series as a whole. The Dublin material is also assessed with reference to the known comparable finds from native Irish sites and from similar assemblages dating to the Viking age from both Insular and Scandinavian contexts. The pins in this catalogue, almost all of which are from stratified datable levels, provide the basis for an approach to the typological and chronological series as a whole. Appendices are included on the function and manner of wearing of the ringed pin and the methods and techniques used in the manufacture and decoration of the ringed pin.