Inštitut za arheologijo  ZRC SAZU


Boštjan ODAR

The archer from Carnium


The inhabitants of the Late Antiquity fortress of Carnium buried their kith and kin on the plain at the confluence of the Sava and the Kokra Rivers throughout the 6th century. A large part of this cemetery was excavated at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. On July 26th, 1900, Jernej Peènik dug out an exceptional grave of a warrior with a sword, 23 arrowheads, a hook for quiver suspension and two long knives. The exclusively offensive weaponry indicates the deceased’s particular status as a warrior. All arrowheads were used to penetrate defensive weaponry, that is scale armour and chain mail. Of particular interest among the arrowheads are the trilobate arrowheads with a pyramidal tip, tied to the Byzantine weaponry, as well as three new types of arrowheads, which are without contemporary parallels from the Late Antiquity as of yet.

The warrior, a member of the upper social classes, could have used these arrowheads in the time of the alliance between the Langobardi and the Byzantines. This archer with a sword and two knives was probably buried in the second half of the 6th century.

Keywords: Carnium - Kranj, Slovenia, second half of the 6th century, warrior’s grave, archer, sword, sax, arrowheads, hook for quiver suspension

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