The Baltic States and Islands of the Eastern Baltic

Map of Baltic States showing comb finds


Now we consider the nature of combs and comb-making evidence from south-east of the Swedish mainland. Key finds come from the islands of Öland and Gotland, and from Estonia and Latvia. In this region it is important to note that other ornate one-piece forms of comb were in circulation contemporaneously with our composite forms, though they are not discussed here. Readers are referred to Krylasova's (2007) synthesis of this material as a starting point.

Öland | Gotland | The Baltic States


The combs from the islands and coasts of the eastern Baltic region are not yet well synthesised and it has only been possible to touch on a few of the key collections here. While combs from Estonia, Latvia, and the islands of the Baltic do share morphological similarities with those found elsewhere in Europe, there are also distinct differences, particularly in the detail of early Viking-Age material (Type 5) recovered from Gotland. Combs from the later Viking-Age and medieval towns show less idiosyncrasy, and may be closely compared with material found elsewhere in northern Europe (Types 9, 13, and 14a).

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