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Art of the Migration Period

 300–900 AD

the age of resettlement

As the Roman Empire fell into ruins numerous  tribes, including;  Ostrogoths, Langobards, Franks, Visigoths,  Celts, and Anglo-Saxons, began migrating across the European Continent, resulting in the establishment of new territories, empires and societies. According to Historian Hendrik van Loon, " The Germanic tribes had left their old home in Asia and had moved westward into Europe. By sheer pressure of numbers they had forced their way into the Roman Empire. They had destroyed the great western empire, but the eastern part, being off the main route of the great migrations, had managed to survive and feebly continued the traditions of Rome’s ancient glory."

Migration art is the name used for art connected with the mass migration period during this time of chaos and social upheaval.  Many diverse cultures and peoples contributed to a rich repository of  art and fine craftsmanship. Barbarian artisans created everything from elaborate weapons  and ornate jewelry to beautiful cookware.

 The artifacts of the Migration peoples is a unique but wide-ranging style. An intriguing combination of primitive minimalism, truth to nature, balanced unity and a precision for detail.  The use of costly materials such as gold, precious stones and ivory  attests to the sophistication of the various cultures of the Migration period.  In a society of almost total illiteracy, diseases, and the ever present threat of starvation, the treasured gold crucifixes and miniature pagan gods and goddess imparted to the owner comfort and a sense of familiarity.





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