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A new find of a Byzantine stirrup from Rujkovac

dc.creatorBugarski, Ivan
dc.description.abstractBy the village of Rujkovac in southern Serbia, one of numerous local hillforts is situated. Since it has not been systematically explored, our knowledge on its history leans on an insight into the chance finds. On this occasion, I have opted to depict the new find of an iron sturrup, probably coming from a damaged hoard that have already produced three such objects, apart from the findings of tools that may be widely dated. In all the three cases loops are small and two stirrups are pear-like in shape. On two stirrups there are characteristic widenings by the edges of the foot-rests. The fourth stirrup is similar to those finds. It is also pear-like in shape, measuring 15,7 cm x 13,2 cm. Similar finds from outside the Central Balkans are well studied, but there were misinterpretations of their occurrence in this territory. The Rujkovac stirrups could not be dated according to the context of the find, but only thanks to analogies. Both typologically and territorially, the closest finds come from a hoard of iron objects found at Streževo by Bitola, FYR Macedonia, but the presented estimations of its date caused certain confusion. On the basis of archaeological research, T. Janakievski dated the site to the sixth century, while the hoard was connected to the 626 events, consisting of tools, keys, processional cross, snaffle bits and a total of eighteen stirrups, one of which closely resembling the Early Avar tipe with oblong loop. Apart from the 'Early Avar' stirrup, that seems to has been decorated with incised ornaments, the other stirrups were grouped in those of round and pear-like forms. The first stirrup is very much like the early Avar ones, but differing from them in great width of its foot-rest. Finds from Rujkovac resemble to the stirrups of the other two types from Streževo. On the basis of the appearance of the pear-shaped stirrups, M. Schulze-Dörrlamm dated the Streževo find to the tenth century, and recently the hoard has again attracted the attention of archaeologists. While in my 2007 paper the hoard was dated to the sixth century and tied to the 585/586 events around Thesalonika, V. Jotov dated it to the second half of tenth and the first half of the eleventh centuries. In dating of the Streževo find, V. Jotov analyses the other objects too, but they could not be very precisely dated. This is mostly relevant for tools. However, the discussion on the snuffle-bits from Streževo is more important, attributed to the Csorna type by M. Schulze-Dörrlamm. Similar findings from the Gamzigrad hoard were dated to the tenth - eleventh centuries. So in the previous publication of the Rujkovac sturrups the arguments in favour of a later date for the Streževo hoard were excepted. Then it may be concluded that in the course of the tenth-eleventh centuries the Balkan smiths adopted Hungarian form of stirrups and, what is particularly interesting, that they were still producing the stirrups of a modified, few centuries earlier type and decorating them in the old fashioned way. From the present-day Bulgaria come thirteen more specimens, which seems to justify the reservations of V. Jotov regarding the 'specifically' Hungarian nature of the finds in question. The same is true with a new find from FYR Macedonia. However, no record exists as to which army they belonged to. Given the historical framework, it is stated, though with some reservations, that both the Rujkovac and Streževo finds come from a Byzantine context, testifying to the renewal of life and metallurgical activities in the tenth and eleventh centuries in the southern part of the Central Balkans.en
dc.publisherNarodni muzej, Leskovac
dc.sourceLeskovački zbornik
dc.subjectkonjska oprema
dc.titleNov nalaz vizantijske uzengije iz Rujkovcasr
dc.titleA new find of a Byzantine stirrup from Rujkovacen
dc.citation.other(53): 34-49

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