An exceptional archeological find from Kranj
Gleaming in armour – Late Antique lamellar armours from Kranj
The city of Kranj witnessed a very special archaeological discovery in 2005. In the garden of the house at Tomšičeva 38, archaeologists unearthed Late Antique military equipment of the officers of the highest rank, which comprised two lamellar armours and a lance called ango from the second half of the 6th century. These weapons were status symbols of the military and social elite of the time; the ango of the Franko-Alamanic and the lamellar armours of the Byzantine and associated elites, of the peoples under the Byzantine influence and rule. The ango represents a rare piece of material evidence for the presence of the Franks and their allies on and west of the territory of the present-day Slovenia in the mid-6th century. The two lamellar armours reflect the strong influence and ties with the Byzantine Empire, to which central Slovenia formally belonged in the second half of the 6th century as its northern border area. The three finds as a whole indicate a prominent strategic role of Carnium, ancient Kranj, in Late Antiquity.
The lamellar armours are exceptional finds, not only because of the high standing of their wearers, but also because of their rarity both in Europe and the rest of the world. They are two of the altogether seven almost complete lamellar armours from the 6th and 7th centuries, which came to light between the Caucasus in the east and Spain in the west. Not all, however, provide so much information as to the construction and original appearance of the Late Antique lamellar armour as the two examples from Kranj.