USE OF SOME GLASS OBJECTS IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES. AN OUTLINE (O sposobach uzytkowanioa niektórych wczesnosredniowiecznych wyrobów ze szkla)
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The article aims to discuss glass weddings rings and rings originating from different cultural contexts from the Eastem and Western Slavdom. These contexts comprise mainly (a) cultural layers in early urban features, (b) inhumation burials, (c) houses, and (d) hoard deposits. It was assumed that glass wedding rings and ring, as well as other archaeological objects, may have had different functions and may have also become some kind of cultural markers. Simplifying the issue one can distinguish their three functions: (1) intentional - any given object was used, both by its producer and consumer, in accord with its original technical, formal and aesthetic intention, (2) secondary - any given object was not used in accord with its original meaning and against the producer intention, (3) changeable - any give object may have been used both in accord with its original meaning as well as with different intention depending upon the cultural context. Analysis of cultural layers of a range of different early urban sites as well as grave goods, houses and hoards indicates that glass wedding rings and rings (both complete or fragmentary) may have functioned both intentionally and secondarily as (1) ornaments of different sort (also cult objects), (2) non-monetary currency, (3) commodity, and (4) magic objects..
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