Repoussé Earrings from Grofove njive, Slovenia

Three sheet bronze earrings bearing geometric repoussé decoration were unearthed at the University of Bradford, having been visible in X-rays of a soil block containing human remains from the site of Grofove njive, near Drnovo in Slovenia. The soil block had been lifted from Grave 2 of an Early Iron Age tumulus at the site, which was excavated by TICA SYSTEM Research and Development Ltd in 2003. Three more earrings had already been recovered from the grave on-site, demonstrating that the individual was interred with a total of six. Parallels for the earrings are not uncommon and are known from other sites in Slovenia, such as Magdalenska gora, although many examples bear animal motifs such as cats and rabbits.

All of the earrings were subjected to structured light scanning using a MechInnovation Ltd MechScan, in order to record them and their detailed repoussé decoration. The most complete earring was also subjected to higher resolution data capture in order to study the finely executed motifs in greater detail. Scanning of the earrings served another purpose by allowing for their digital refitting, as shown in the above animation. Digital refitting showed that this earring at least was in its closed position when excavated (with the loop passing through a perforation in the main body of the earring), presumably since it was worn by the deceased for burial rather than being separately interred.