SCHELLENFUNDE AUS DEM AWARISCHEN GRÄBERFELD VON VÖSENDORF-LAXENBURGERSTRAßE, ÖSTERREICH
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Pellet bell finds from the Avar cemetery of Vösendorf-Laxenburgerstraße, Austria
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The Avar necropolis of Vösendorf is located near the strong frequented main road Laxenburgerstrasse, on a slight slope. It contains 443 burials from the middle Avar period until the very late Avar period. Beside objects which belonged to the costumes of the buried, weapons and pottery, some idiophones of metal – bells and pellet bells – were detected. The pellet bells were cast in bronze, made of iron or of bronze sheet. Small pebbles served as rattle balls. The metal rattles have to be classified to the group of vessel rattles after the classification of instruments of Hornbostel and Sachs. In the graves 9 and 532 they clearly belonged to the dead and were found near their hips. Probably the pellet bells served as sounding apotropaic amulets and were worn in small bags made of organic material, fastened on the belts. Researching other burials with pellet bells found in necropolis from Lower Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, we found out, that predominantly children and women had metal rattles and only a few men. The rattle from burial 525 might belong to the horse gear and not to the man. Bronze sheet pellet bells mostly are detected together with horse skeletons. The idiophone of burial 715, a horse man’s burial with his horse, was part of the horse gear and decorated the strap on the front (headband). Two pellet bells could be examined acoustically and show very high sounds low sound levels and low ranges. Pellet bells appear from phase Middle Avar II on and were used until the very late Avar time.
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