Exceptional Depiction on the Strap End from Rakova Jelša
Izjemna upodobitev na pasnem jezičku z Rakove Jelše
The river Ljubljanica offers many interesting finds, among which is also a silver strap end of circular shape, the upper part of which is bound together by two rivets. According to its shape, it can be dated to the 4th cent. (cca. 400 AD). Our attention is drawn by the unusual ornament with impressed points that is not often attested in Slovenia. On the neck of the strap end, right below the rivets, two Greek letters are engraved: ω and β, which could be initials of the object’s owner. Points in the central circular part are more difficult to explain. It seems plausible to interpret them as various constellations: Cassiopeia, Hyades and Pleiades, Great Bear, and possibly Libra (Equinox). The object must have belonged to a soldier, who most probably came from the East. He or somebody else marked his strap end with his initials and had the central round part engraved with a certain reflection of the sky, which he could use to tell time or to locate himself, in which case we could be dealing with a simple astrolabe.
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