Date: 9th/10th Century
Type of Find: Burial
Date of Excavation: 1980-1981
Context: Beads were found in neck area, oval brooches (JP51a) were present
Beads: 8 beads; 2 rock crystal and 6 glass
Grave Køstrup ACQ is perhaps most famous for its pleated aprondress. Matthew Delvaux dates the grave to the mid-9th century based on the beads, Charlotta Lindbloom dates the grave to the 10th century. Other grave goods include fragments of the pleated dress, a narrow wool brocaded tablet woven band, beads, an iron knife and key and a casket.
Fairly recent excavation and reliable diagrams make this a good example of what a woman's necklace of the period might have looked like. She had some wealth, and Delvaux suggests that her grave goods reflect a position of authority, even though she might not have had the wealth of someone in a more central location. (I will, however, disagree that the pleated front of her garment is a sign of conspicuous consumption. The pleats are only a few millimeters deep and do not represent a great deal of additional cloth. Rather, I consider them a frugal option that allows one to resize a garment as needed to accommodate life's changes.)
I love that there are not enough beads to stretch between the brooches, allowing some of the stringing material to be seen when worn. I feel that this is more common full strands (and definitiely more so than multiple strands) and makes for a wonderful impression.
I recommend looking at Delvaux's discussion on ACQ, as he also includes a great image of beads from another graveyard in the region that he dates a bit later. This can help one form a better picture of what styles of ornament were available to the people of this time and place.
- Delvaux, Matthew. "Forging a New Elite for Viking-Age Funen", Text and Trowel Blog, 2017.
- Lindbloom, Charlotta. Køstrup – en nordvestfynsk vikingetidsgravplad, 1993.
- Rasmussen and Lønborg. Dragtrester i grav ACQ, Køstrup, 1993.
- Rimstad, Charlotte. "Vikinger i Uld og Guld", Copenhagen University, 1998.
- Thunem, Hilde. "The Aprondress from Køstrup (grave ACQ), 2015.