Celtic bugle, Roman lituus, or medieval ban horn?: an evaluation of cast bronze horns with an upturned bell

TitleCeltic bugle, Roman lituus, or medieval ban horn?: an evaluation of cast bronze horns with an upturned bell
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsTamboer, A, van Vilsteren, V
EditorHickmann, E, Both, AA, Eichmann, R
Book TitleMusikarchäologie im Kontext = Music Archaeology in Contexts: archaeological semantics, historical implications, socio-cultural connotations
Series TitleStudien zur Musikarchäologie 5; Orient-Archäologie 20
Pagination221-236
PublisherLeidorf
CityRahden
ISBN9783896466501
Abstract

In Europe, bronze horns / horn corresponding to a certain type have been found: the tube of the horn is straight, slightly conical and ends in a flaring bell, which is bent upwards at an angle to the tube. The length of the tube varies between 63 and 109 cm. The most famous examples are the so-called Saalburg lituus and the Rüsselsheim lituus [both in Germany] and the Malbork-lituus [Poland], all three found [without context] in rivers. They are designated as litui in the literature and assigned a Roman provenance. Are these bronze horns Celtic or Roman military instruments, perhaps lost in battle or thrown into the river as offerings? In our search for parallels, we have to date found 22 examples in all of Europe, some whole and some fragmented. Most were found during excavation, others were preserved above ground. These newly discovered horns, as well as iconographic and historical sources, cast the question of the dating and function of these instruments in a new light. Perhaps they were used in conjunction with communal and juridical traditions of the Middle Ages. [http://www.vml.de/e/inhalt.php?ISBN=978-3-89646-650-1]

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