A bird-shaped amber pendant of the Migration period with rune engravements from the shore of the Baltic Sea at the Rostocker Heide

1 bird-shaped amber pendant from the Baltic Sea shore at the Heiligensee, front and rear side; 2 different views and blackened rune engravements; 3 fishbone-like toolmarks. Size: 17.2 x 10.4 x 3.4 mm.

In December 2013, after the winter storm Xaver, among raw amber pieces and driftwood an amber pendant was found at the shore of the Baltic Sea at the “Heiliger See”, published in late 2016*. The site is already known for older prehistoric finds originating from submerged peat deposits. Because of the very good preservation, an origin from these peats is suggested for this amber pendant, too.

The bird-shaped design of this unique pendant belongs to a typology used under the Merovingian dynasty. From those times, only a few finds are known from the western Baltic, and the region was suggested to be widely depopulated. This artefact on the one hand delivers important information about populating of the western Baltic coastlands in the first millennium AD and on the other hand, it might show a relation of ancient people to coastal wetlands as specific landscape elements.

*Ansorge, J. & Oehrl, S., 2016. Ein völkerwanderungzeitlicher vogelförmiger Bernsteinanhänger mit Runeninschrift vom Ostseestrand der Rostocker Heide, Hansestadt Rostock. Bodendenkmalpflege in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Jahrbuch 62 (2014), 107-128.

Publication can be accessed via the Landesamt für Kultur und Bodendenkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or via the academia.edu-profiles of the authors https://www.academia.edu/30503631/Ein_völkerwanderungszeitlicher_vogelförmiger_Bernsteinanhänger_mit_Runeninschrift_vom_Ostseestrand_der_Rostocker_Heide_Hansestadt_Rostock