Portable Wealth After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire
The study is the starting point for placing different objects of late antique Spain in spatial and temporal relation with other artistic examples of the period and within their historical context in order to explore what portable objects might have helped communicate.
By comparing specific examples with contemporary tendencies, other objects of similar manufacture or even archaeological information gathered from other sources beyond the portable objects themselves, a comprehensive network of connections - artistic, archaeological and, when discernible, historical - can be explored.
The study centers around a timeline of royal reigns in the Hispanic peninsula and Byzantium, in the period from the year 569, a date that has a numismatic importance as it marks the reign of Leovigild, the first Visigothic king to mint gold tremisses under his own name, to the year 714, the date traditionally marked as historians, and attested by the dateable numismatic record as the effective end of the Visigothic period in Spain.
This timeline will be the basis of comparison between portable objects of the period, joining the iconographic analysis of the object themselves and the rest of the archaeological record around Western Europe, to explore message and geographical relationships that portable wealth might show.
The study becomes an aid in exploring portable objects in the late antiquity period as identity or status markers and as message bearers.
Javier's work will be presented at the Festival of Postgraduate Research 17th May 2012 - view Javier's festival poster.