The Age of the Merovingians. Ňurope Without
On 19 June 2007, the exhibition entitled The Age of the Merovingians. Europe Without Borders opened in the Nicholas Hall of the Winter Palace. The exhibition consists of around one thousand five hundred monuments dating from the 5th to 8th centuries.
The exhibition has been organized by the State Hermitage with participation of the A.S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the State Historical Museum, the Museum of Ancient and Early History (State Museums of Berlin), the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and the ROSIZO State Museum and Exhibition Centre. Support was provided by the Ministry of Culture and Mass Media of the Russian Federation and the Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography. This is the first Russian-German project showing, on the basis of archeological materials, the interrelationships between very complicated cultural and historical processes that took place on the extensive European space stretching from the Urals to the Baltic during the period when early medieval civilization took shape. It is particularly relevant today for the peoples of modern day Europe to study and understand these processes.
A significant part of the material on display in the exhibition has been provided by Russian museums. This comes from unique complexes of finds made on the territory of Eastern Europe which reveal the general and particular features of historical development of various tribes during the period described. There are also Western European antiquities that were transferred from Germany as part of the compensatory restitution that followed World War II. In the exhibition these materials are presented together with materials from Germany's Museum of Ancient and Early History (Berlin). For the first time ancient monuments that were once divided up are being shown as a single ensemble.
The Merovingian state - historical and ethnographic data. European 'neighbors'
Behind the enigmatic label 'Merovingians' we find not only the ancient royal dynasty of the Franks but a whole epoch from the end of the 5th century AD until the middle of the 8th century, around 250 years in all, during which Western Europe passed from the history of Late Antique civilization, which extended far beyond the boundaries of Italy and Greece, and the chronicle of the barbarian world began. For many European peoples, it was the first page of life; for several ancient civilizations, it was the opposite - a tragic finale. The overthrow of the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 476 marks the conventional boundary beyond which a new age began.
According to the History of the Franks (Historia Francorum) from the end of the 6th century, the founder of the clan was a certain Meroveus. The Roman Emperor transferred to his heir, Chlodwig, a large part of the province of Belgica II. The history of Childeric I and his residence in the city of Tournai on what is modern day Belgium is known to us from oral history. During 481-482, power was transferred to his son Chlodwig (482-511), who became the founder of the Frankish kingdom of the Merovingians which lasted until 751, when Childeric III was chased from the throne by the Carolingians.
King Chlodwig not only was baptized but maintained elements of the Roman system on the territory under his control. This provided the basis for the formation of early medieval Western European civilization. The kingdom of the Franks was multi-ethnic. Alongside Roman law, which was set down in the Code of Justinian, there was also German law, based on custom. As a result, in the course of the 6th century, there formed a kind of national community which identified itself with the kingdom of the Merovingians. The former Roman province of Gaul between the Rhine and the Loire began to be called 'Francia,' while the lands to the East of the Rhine preserved their status of protectorates and in the 6th century centrifugal forces became stronger there.
The territorial, social and cultural structure of the new Europe as a whole replicated the structure of the Roman army. Many medieval noble titles were nothing more than old Roman administrative positions. The so-called 'soldiers' Latin' lay at the basis of modern European languages of the Romance group. Two cultures - Roman and barbarian, moved, as it were, towards one another, while the second developed and improved, imbibing many of the achievements of the first. On the other hand, the 'barbarians' (Eastern Goths - Greybeards and Langobards, or Lombards) introduced military innovations which made it possible to produce a heavy cavalry of knights. In Ravenna, the capital of the Ostrogothic kingdom, cloisonne inlaid jewelry, which may be justly considered the most refined in Europe reached its perfection. Here the cultural achievements and images of the Late Antique and barbarian worlds united: garnets from India and amber from the Baltic; the work of Roman masters and 'barbarian images' and motifs. The culture of the age of Merovingians has special significance in terms of succession of the empire (Translatio imperii). The fact that the Merovingian kings belonged to the Catholic Church helped them to unite the Roman and German legacies.
In lay and ecclesiastical spheres, Ancient traditions were preserved and brought into line with the needs of the times. The Merovingians, though barbarians in terms of their origins, were the founders of medieval culture of the Western type.
Antique traditions in the art of the Age of Merovingians. The thesis of imitatio Imperii (Lat., 'imitating the Empire') may be seen in the Merovingian age in many political activities of the rulers of Western Europe. To the extent that the Franks moved deep into Gaul, they were Romanized. This process was particularly reflected in active use of the Roman heritage in the decorative arts of the Age of Merovingians. Under the influence of Roman "innovations," the Germans, who formerly saw life's meaning only in war, began to feel the inexpressible beauty of Antique artifacts and to use them in everyday life consciously and with due attention. By means of the Carolingian workshops of the Lower Rhine, what were originally Roman methods of artistic depiction were even passed along to Scandinavian jewelers.
On the other hand, the Roman custom of rewarding warriors who distinguished themselves with golden torques (grivnas) was already transformed under 'barbarian' influence in the 4th century. On the territory of Welpe in modern day Belgium, a group of seven torques was found which were decorated with stamped ornamentation. They imitate 'barbarian' rings for the neck. In imperial jewelry, the Huns' tradition of polychrome style developed.
Barbarian gold. Numerous barbarians (called in the West 'Germans') served within the army of Late Rome. Often they rose to senior officer ranks. The gold coins which they received for their service ended up in the mercenaries' homeland. The coins were kept as treasure. They were melted down to make decorations, signs of distinction and honorary symbols, as we know from the golden bracelets and grivnas that have been found on the territory known as Germania Magna (Greater Germany). Neck grivna made from solid gold in the 5th century and found along the southern shores of the Baltic Sea in Hammelsdorf and Radosiwe have features connected with Scandinavian culture.
The finds discovered in Zamoszcze - gilded silver clasps and other decorations for clothing - date back to the times of the beginning of the Great Migrations of Peoples. A hilt found in the bed of the Oder near Friedrichstal dates from the 6th century AD. Weapons were a sacrificial offering typical of the northern Germans.
The Hun princes received colossal tribute in gold coins from the Emperor in Constantinople. Attila presented this gold to his vassals. Thus we may explain the abundance of gold in burial places of the Huns, the Eastern Germans and the Alans, where archeologists even find shoe buckles that were cast and forged from solid gold.
The mid-Danubian Plain (Hungarian lowlands) is an extension of the Eurasian steppe zone. In all ages this attracted waves of steppe nomads. Notwithstanding the fact that only two generations of Huns lived here, they left behind a significant archeological heritage consisting of rich burial places and sacrifices to the dead.
In 568, the Lombards appeared in Pannonia. These horse-riding nomads from Central Asia ruled for more than the two centuries to come over the whole Carpathian basin from the Vienna Woods to the Iron Gates of the Danube. In the period of the First Avar Kaganate (before the first third of the 7th century), we note burials in accordance with the customs of horse-mounted nomads (alongside the burial of remains of the German population of Suevi and Gepids and representatives of the oriental culture of Kesthei). The later Avar period is represented in the exhibition by finds from Pettsching-Zillingtal (Burgenland, Austria). The form and decoration are evidence of the preservation of traditions brought by the Avars from Central Asia during their two centuries of settled life.
Thuringians. The kingdom of the Thuringians arose in the 5th century amidst several Polabian German tribes. The Thuringians lost their independence after defeat in a war with united armies under the general command of the sons of the founder of the empire of the Franks in 531 and following the death of King Hermenafred. A characteristic detail of the costume of Thuringian women was clasps cast from silver and decorated with geometric rhomboids or spirals made in the technique of applique. North German ties are seen in the Runic inscriptions which are along gold coins stamped on one side depicting Vodan. The burial of sacrificial horses attest to the continuation of pagan traditions.
Alemans. The Alemans were a group that consolidated in the course of the 3rd century based on several German tribes of central and south-eastern Germany. In the 5th century, the Alemans spread their influence from the South German regions to the lower reaches of the Main and Alsace, thereby coming into conflict with the Burgundians and Franks. In 496, the Alemans were defeated in a battle with the Franks near Zulpich (Rhine region) and in 506 they finally came under Frankish rule.
Glass, bronze and ceramic vessels, articles of clothing and several forms of decorations all point to Frankish influence. Digs in fields of tombs dating from the 7th century in Hammertingen, Otlingen, Pfalheim, Truchtelfingen and Ulm have revealed new shapes and decorative techniques which have certain South German origins. Contacts with Lombard Italy can be seen from the bronze pitchers for washing hands and crosses made using gold leaf that are decorated with ornamentation in animalist style. Features of paganism remain in figuratively decorated silver scabbards brought in from Northern Germany and discovered in Hutensteinand.
Bavarians. The Baiuvars (Bavarians) were first called baiovarii in the History of the Goths, 555 AD. Garibald, from the clan of Agilolfingers, was the first Duke of Baiuvars We know his name from a written source: the Frankish chronicler Gregory of Tours mentions Garibald in connection with the Merovingians as "one of them." The residence of the Agilfinger archdukes was Regensburg, where in the 8th century there still were the walls of the former camp of the Third Italian Legion.
One can draw conclusions about the ethnic provenance and character of the settlements in early Bavaria (which occupied during the 7th-8th centuries what is today the South of modern day Bavaria and almost all of Austria and the province of Bozen (Balzano) to the south of the Brenner Pass) by examining the burial sites in Inzing and Reichenhalle (on the border of the mountainous area). Digs give us reason to speak of the assimilation of the Vlachs living here from the time of the Roman province and about the formation of a Bavarian tribal union.
Franks within the boundaries of the future state. The defense of the Western borders of the Roman Empire in the 4th century shifted ever more completely into the hands of barbarian detachments. We know how the Frankish warriors were buried from finds in the necropolis of a Late Antique fortress in Herapel, near Volklingen in Lorraine. In accordance with the customs of the Germans, the body was interred together with wide military belt decorated with carved plates of a bronze grivna and with weapons: the battle axe and knife.
In the 5th century, the Eastern Germans, Alans and Huns settled along the inner regions of Gaul and Rome transferred possessions in these provinces to German leaders, who were supposed to defend the borders of the Empire against their fellow tribesmen from the right bank of the Rhine.
The expansion of the Franks in Gaul at the beginning of the age of the Merovingians led to the settlement of regions right up to the modern day Paris region. The Franks buried their fellow tribesmen fully clothed in cemeteries having a linear arrangement. Excavations of burial sites, including those of the 6th century, turn up ceramic and glass vessels as well as bronze jugs used for washing hands.
Franks of the Rhine region. Under Chlodwig, whose policies were oriented towards Late Roman power, organized settlement began of the Rhine and Mosel regions. Up to this time it is likely some German tribes lived here who were soon absorbed into the Franks. Already in the 6th century German-Frankish "Austria" formed. The Roman speaking part of the population was Germanized over several generations. This formed a counterbalance to Neustria, where Franks underwent Romanization. The distinction in cultures between the Western and Eastern Franks is revealed in archeological sources, principally in the burial customs. Thus, in the 7th century, the Franks on the Rhine still buried the dead together with the weapons belonging to them. Distinctions are also seen in female attire: in the North, they wore belts with iron plates decorated with silver inlay, while in the East - small ties and long amulet pendants. The common elements were fibulae in the form of animals or geometric figures which were used to hold in place the outer garment. In the exhibition we see displayed finds from Kerlich, Nettersheim, Schwartzrheindorfhalle, Gondorf, Schirstein and other settlements near the Rhine.
Ostrogoths in Italy. In 489, one hundred thousand Ostrogoths under the command of Theodoric (of which no more than 15,000 were warriors) crossed over from Thrace and broke into the territory of Italy. Theodoric was given the title of Rex Gothorum atque Patricius Romanorum ("sovereign of the Goths and Roman patrician") by the Byzantine Emperor and at his death in 526 he left behind a powerful kingdom. However, in 552 the Byzantine military commander Narses smashed the Goth army at Mon Lactarius. The fall of the Ostrogothic empire ultimately benefited the Franks, the Alemans and the Lombards. Like most of the Eastern Germans, the Ostrogoths practiced Christianity of the Arian tradition. Therefore, unlike the Franks and later the Lombards, assimilation of the Ostrogoths by the Roman Catholic population was rendered difficult and the Ostrogoths always remained "outsiders" in Italy. The archeological legacy of the Ostrogoths in Italy is meager - only some female tombs can be recognized as Gothic thanks to the female dress typical of the Eastern Germans: a pair of fibulae on the shoulders and a belt with a massive buckle at the waist to hold the clothing in place.
The Lombards in Italy. The composition Origo gentis Langobardorum" (640 AD) says that the Lombards come from Scandinavia. In 568, under the command of their king Alboin they and 'all of the peoples under their rule' traveled from Pannonia through the Alps to Italy. The Lombards seized the cities in the North of the country and created independent duchies in central and southern Italy. The fall of the Lombard kingdom in 774 was facilitated by the combined forces of the Carolingians in alliance with the Bishop of Rome.
The weapons and decorations found in Pannonia are indistinguishable from those that have appeared in early burial sites of the Lombards in Italy. A typical peculiarity of the Lombard burials was crosses made using gold leaf. These crosses were cut from gold foil and were sewn onto the material that was wrapped around the head of the deceased. The crosses were a confirmation of the shift to Catholicism of former pagans and Aryans which began under the Catholic Queen Theudelinda (589-626) and which, in the end, created the conditions for the assimilation of the Lombards in among the local peoples.
The Visigoths in Spain. In the battle of Vouille, near Poitiers, in 507 King Chlodwig of the Merovingian dynasty was victorious over the Arians-Visigoths. Their King Alaric II died and the Toulouse kingdom, which existed from 418, fell with him. One hundred thousand Visigoths crossed the Pyrenees into the territory of modern day Spain. Toledo, in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, became their new capital. Typical objects from the period when they were taking over this territory were female clasps and cast fibulae with three projections. In the burial sites dating from the middle of the 6th century, we have found harness fastenings with quadrilateral plates, rings for the fingers, bracelets and glass beads.
As a consequence of Romanization, at the end of the 6th century fashion changed. Finds from this period include belt fastenings and clasps of an exclusively Mediterranean type. At times the tombs do not contain any gifts whatsoever. In Spain, unlike other regions, there are no luxurious tombs belonging to members of the highest social stratum. The adoption of Catholicism and related assimilation of the Visigoths by the Roman population is reflected in the church treasuries with their votive crowns. An element of one of these crowns is a gold hinged cross with inlay of glass which was, quite possibly, hidden from the Moorish conquerors in the years 711-715.
The "Other" Europe
Huns. In 433, the Huns, under the command of their famous leader Attila, undertook a military campaign with the aim of conquering the Danubian lands of the Roman Empire. They seized the territory of Pannonia along the Tisza River (Hungary) where the headquarters of their ruler was moved. Most of the archeological monuments found both in the Northern Black Sea Littoral and in Pannonia relate to precisely this period. Men were buried together with weapons, horse harnesses and religious ritual kettles made of bronze. Women were buried with decorations such as diadems, earrings, temporal pendants made in the polychrome style. The jewelry items show a characteristic combination of gold background and bright inserts of semiprecious stones: garnets, almandines, cornelian and, more rarely, amber and glass gathered in clusters. After the death of Attila in 454, the empire of the Huns fell apart. Various tribes and peoples of Ugro-Turkic origin rushed in from the across the steppe of the Northern Black Sea Littoral: Saragurs, Urogs, Onogurs, Savirs and then Bulgars, Kutrigurs and Utigurs among others.
The population of the Baltic region and the Baltic shores of Scandinavia. In the first half of the 5th century, the German population of the Southeastern Baltic moved in a southern and southwesterly direction, occupying provinces of the weakening Western Roman Empire. War began among the 'barbarian' tribes for possession of the land and treasures assembled by the Romans over many centuries of their rule. Gold grivnas decorated with semicircular stamps (in 'imbrication' composition), typical of the Late Hunnic period, come from finds linked to the Vidivar people who settled in the Vistula delta.
The Western Mazurian natural habitat was occupied by the Aesti (Estonians). Around the middle of the 6th century, part of the population of the Mid Danube who belonged to the tribes of Gepids and Lombards appeared here. At the end of the 7th century, the Prussians were victorious over the inhabitants of Mazuria, as is reflected in the reliefs of the unique 'bracelet of Strobjenen' - the largest gold find in Prussia, weighing 374 grams of pure gold.
The last traces of influence of decorative arts of the Age of the Merovingians and most remote from it chronologically, may be seen in the material of a treasure found in 1892 near the city of Kranz (present day Zelenogradsk). Works by Western European masters in 'post-Merovingian' traditions are found together with Baltic and Scandinavian decorations.
Goths (Chernyakhovsk culture). "From the island of Skandsa [Scandinavian Peninsula], as from a workshop of tribes, once came the Goths.' Thus wrote about this people the historian Jordan, a contemporary of the great German kings of the age of the Merovingians, Theodoric and Chlodwig. Before becoming the founders of a series of states in the early medieval period of Western Europe, the Goths made a long journey: from Scandinavia through the Pripyatskoye Polesye of the Northern Black Sea Littoral, the Crimea and the lower reaches of the Danube. Then, under pressure from the Huns, who burst into Europe from the East in 375, the Gothic tribes fled onto the territory of the Roman Empire - into Italy and Spain. This journey is traced in extensive archeological evidence, the earliest of which is settlements and tombs of the Wielbark culture in the lower reaches of the Vistula.
The high point of the Gothic state development on the territory extending from the Middle Dniepr to the Lower Danube is linked with the name of King Germanarich (4th century). Monuments of the Chernyakhovsk archeological culture reflect the processes of unification of the Germanic tribes and the subjugation of neighboring peoples. The high level of development of the first Gothic state attests to commercial and cultural ties with the Roman Empire, an active and independent foreign policy, high technologies in the fields of crafts (glass making, jewelry making, production of fine pottery), literacy - Greek and their own Runic writings.
Goths in the Crimea. The appearance of the Goths on the Crimean Peninsula dates from the middle of the 3rd century, during the age of active overland and naval campaigns of the Germans against the Roman Empire. In the 4th and 5th centuries, the Goths' military elite evidently constituted a large part of the aristocracy of the Bosporus (the city states which existed at this time in the eastern part of the Crimea).
The most outstanding monuments of original Gothic culture in the Crimea date from the 6th century. These are closely linked with the German tribes of Central Europe (Middle Danube and Italy). Burial monuments from this period (tombs of Suuk-Su, Eski-Kerman among others) contain rich material with especially expressive details of traditional female attire of the Germans: large belt buckles with an eagle's head and inserts of garnets, cast palmate fibulae with relief ornamentation. The fashion for palmate fibulae took in not only the Gothic population but, thanks to close cultural ties, also carried over to the Slavs of the Middle Dniepr - the Antae, who developed their own forms of decorations in imitation of the Goths.
The Bosporus in the Late Antique and early medieval periods. One can draw conclusions about the culture of the Late Antique and early medieval Bosporus on the basis of finds from burials in a very large necropolis located on the northern slope of Mount Mitridat, in earthen crypts discovered on Hospital Street in Kerch. A great diversity distinguishes the materials from the late 4th - first half of the 5th century. Among gold jewelry items decorated with semiprecious stones or colored glass, there are two special groups of objects that attract attention: one of them is remarkable for ornamentation made of filigree wire and beading on a gold background; the other has been made in the technique of cloisonne inlay.
The first appearance of decorations of Germanic origin - palmate fibulae - on the Bosporus dates from the end of the 5th century (the time of the return of the Gothic tribes to the Northern Black Sea Littoral following the fall of the Hunnic empire of Attila). A new wave of dissemination of palmate fibulae, and along with them of eagle-headed buckles, came after the destruction of the Ostrogoth kingdom of Italy in the middle of the 6th century, following which some of the Ostrogoths left for the Crimea.
The forest zone of Eastern Europe. The Slavs. The northern neighbors of the Goths of the Chernyakhov culture were the numerous tribes of Antae, one of the three main Slavic tribes, who are first mentioned in written sources in connection with events at the end of the 4th century and beginning of the 5th century. Initially as part of the Hunnic horde and, at the beginning of the 6th century, on their own, the Slavs took part in active military raids on Byzantium. Simultaneously the three main groups of Slavic tribes took shape in Eastern Europe, corresponding to three archeological cultures - Prazhskaya, Penskovskaya and Kolochinskaya.
The age of the 'Danube' campaigns, which embraced the period from the end of the 5th century through the start of the 7th century, was a time of not only active military activity but also multifaceted cultural relations, contacts and exchange of traditions within the entire barbarian world. Hence the close similarity of many elements of everyday life, details of attire, arms and even burial customs.
One of the most valuable archeological finds was a female burial site in the Azov Sea area that is known as Morskoy Chulak and dates from the end of the 5th century. Evidently it belongs to a member of the elite of the tribe of Onogurs. Along with adornments, researchers found a decorative set of horse harness made by Byzantine masters. Another rich tomb discovered near the settlement of Kzhiginskoye (the former Mikhaelsfeld) in Krasnodar Krai, dates from the 6th century. This was possibly a burial site of Kutrigurs or Utigurs, who were in close contact with Byzantium. Here among the objects recovered is a gold chain with a coin of the Emperors Justinus I and Justinian I inserted into the clasp.
The Museum of Ancient and Early History is part of the system of Berlin State Museums (Prussian Cultural Heritage) founded in 1829 as the Museum of Domestic Antiquities. It developed and expanded, eventually becoming Prussia's State Collection of Prehistoric Antiquities.
By the start of the First World War, the museum's collection stood at 180,000 curatorial units and had archeological finds from all of Europe, including the collection of Trojan antiquities from Heinrich Schliemann. This was one of the best collections of Antiquities and was ranked alongside those existing in St Petersburg, Budapest, Vienna, Copenhagen, Paris and London.
After the start of the Second World War in 1939, valuable exhibit items were packed and sent off to bunkers protected against bombing in Berlin and in Silesia, hidden in salt mines of central Germany. The most valuable treasures remained in Berlin and survived the entire war without harm in an antiaircraft fort in the area of the Zoological Garden. On May 5, 1945, the Director of the museum at the time, Wilhelm Unverzagt, handed over the 'museum in a bunker' to the Soviet authorities. Three boxes containing 1,538 unique gold and silver objects were flown to Moscow in June. The remaining exhibit items were sent to the Soviet Union in the winter of 1945-1946 by military railway cars. Part of the museum collections kept in mine galleries in central Germany, was requisitioned by Western Allied forces and taken to the West.
During the period from 1956 through 1958, the exhibit items located in Western Germany were returned to Berlin, where they went to the Museum of Ancient and Early History in Charlottenburg. In 1958, within the framework of a major campaign to return cultural treasures, the Soviet Union returned part of the pre-war collection, which became the core of the Museum of Ancient and Early History founded in 1963 in the capital of the GDR, East Berlin. The three 'gold cases' with the Schliemann treasures and other very valuable historical finds, including from the Period of the Great Migration of Peoples and the age of the Merovingians, were not returned.
From the middle of the 1990s, direct contacts were established between Berlin's Museum of Ancient and Early History and the State Hermitage. Somewhat later the AS Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts joined. In 1996 the A.S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts opened an exhibition entitled Treasures of Troy from the Excavations of Heinrich Schliemann at which it presented objects of great value that had been moved from the Berlin Museum as a result of the war. These antiquities are exhibited again at present.
One important event in the development of cooperation between Russian and German museums was the participation of the Berlin museum in an exhibition organized by the State Hermitage in 1998. The exhibition was called Schliemann - Petersburg - Troy and exhibit items from the collections of the Museum of Ancient and Early History were loaned to it. The idea was born to carry on joint exhibitions in St Petersburg to display items from the Department of Archeology of Eastern Europe and Siberia which, prior to 1945, belonged to the Museum of Ancient and Early History, together with similar antiquities from the present collection of this Berlin museum. Joint work on the project required that two Moscow museums also be drawn in - the A.S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the State Historical Museum - since both of them have the most important antiquities from the Age of the Great Movement of Peoples and the Merovingians coming from the pre-war Berlin collection. For the first time, in the framework of a large joint exhibition project, it became possible to present to a wide audience the present and former exhibits of the Berlin Museum of Ancient and Early History, as well as monuments from the museums of Moscow and St Petersburg.
A scholarly illustrated exhibition catalogue has been prepared in three languages (Russian, English and German). The publication carries introductory remarks by Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation A.S. Sokolov, State Secretary to the Federal Chancellor of Germany Bernd Neumann, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preu?ischer Kulturbesitz) Klaus-Dieter Lemann as well as an introduction by the directors of the four museums who are participants in the exhibition. The catalogue articles were written by Russian and German researchers.
The State Hermitage Publishing House has issued a booklet entitled The Age of the Merovingians: Eagles of Rome and Crows of Wotan. The author of the booklet is senior researcher in the Department of Archeology of Eastern Europe and Siberia A.G. Furasiev.
The curators of the exhibition are senior researcher of the Department
of Archeology of Eastern Europe and Siberia Yu. Yu. Piotrovsky (State
Hermitage), director of t he Department of the Art and Archeology of the
Ancient World V.P. Tolstikov (A.S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts),
senior researcher I.R. Akhmedov (State Historical Museum) and Doctor Marion
Bertram (Museum of Ancient and Early History, Berlin).