The Ostrogothic buckle with cloisonné decoration from Tortona (Italy)

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

3 Citazioni (Scopus)


A recent exhibition dedicated to the Di Negro-Carpani collection (Tortona – Alessandria 2007) provided the opportunity for a re-evaluation of the Ostrogothic artefacts previously uncovered in Tortona (Piedmont): based on a letter by Cassiodoro, King Theodoric would have wanted a fortress (castrum) next to the city. In particular, the buckle with rectangular loop and plate, originally decorated with extensive cloisonné of almandine granats and glass pastes underwent x-rays and a new partial restoration. The process allowed for a new analysis of the sequence of components and its manufacturing process, starting from the structure, which now appears to be made of damascened iron and not bronze, as previously assumed. Chemical analysis of the binder below the precious network show that the putty, of the sandy type (sand putty cloisonné), has a high share of silicates and a small amount of calcite, together with beeswax and a protein component that is probably egg white; gypsum and resin were not detected. The analysis of the organic remains that were found on the back of the buckle (two different textiles and traces of leather) identified a particularly refined and well-executed cloth – with respect to the complexity of the weave and, most importantly, the extreme thinness of the thread – that may be plausibly interpreted as silk. The owner of this prestigious belt must have been a Gothic individual of distinguished social status, probably belonging to the military, who died in Tortona during the reign of Theodoric.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)577-596
Numero di pagine20
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2008


  • Archaeometry
  • Early Middle Ages
  • Goti
  • Italy
  • Piedmont
  • Tortona
  • archeometria
  • belt
  • cloisonné
  • fibbia
  • garnet
  • grave
  • legante
  • seta
  • silk


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