A Hoard of Byzantine Ironwork from Supersano (Apulia, S. Italy) and its Global Connections
Excavations in 2012 have revealed a hoard of nine iron objects hidden within a wall at an early medieval rural site at Supersano. Whilst the site appears to have been abandoned during the 9th century, the hoard seems to date to the second half of the 10th century or not long after. Not only are such hoards thus far known to be typical of the Balkans and parts of northern Europe, rather than of Italy and the Mediterranean, but also its composition is curious. The heterogeneous nature of the objects and the fact that some were broken before being concealed suggests that it was probably a blacksmith or merchant’s hoard. However, of particular interest is the presence of a type of winged mattock not usually found in Byzantine contexts and of a spur which known distribution is largely north of the Alps, in Germany, Poland, England, Scandinavia and with a small eccentric concentration in Croatia. The hoard thus shows widespread connections and suggests how much more there is to learn about Italy and the Mediterranean during the later first millennium AD.