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Brooch

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Unst, Shetland

Brooch
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This brass oval brooch was found with a bronze box on Unst in Shetland. It is a type worn by Scandinavian women. Both objects are probably from a Norse woman's grave, dating from between 850 and 900.

The oval brooch is divided into panels by mouldings and knobs, many of them missing. On the panels on the long sides are figures of long-necked birds facing each other. The knob between them is decorated with a human head.

Oval brooches are a very distinctive form of Viking ornament, worn by women in pairs on their shoulders to hold up a pinafore. Scandinavian women were buried in their finery and with a range of everyday objects.

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