Early Byzantine armor lamellae from Gradina in Biograci near Široki Brijeg
In this paper named Early Byzantine armored lamellae from the Gradina in Biograci near Široki Brijeg, the subject of determination and identification are the remains of lamellar armor found in 1969/1970 at the Late Antique site of Gradina in Biograci. A part of the armored lamellae from Biograci was published in the work of Irma Čremošnik in 1989, where they were identified as part of a military belt, respectively a fitting for a belt. Identification of materials as armor lamellae was performed on the basis of analogies of lamellae or whole lamella armor from geographically nearest localities such as Kranj v Lajh in Slovenia and Svetinja in Serbia, but there are also some typological similarities of these lamellae with the same material found at Gradac on Ilinjača near Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In addition to the basic issue of identification, special accent is placed on the issue of dating lamellae from Biograci. So far, about a hundred parts or whole lamellar armor has been found throughout Europe from the Caucasus in the east to Spain in the west. All are mostly dated to the second half of the 6th and the7th century, when lamellae armor was introduced into Byzantine military equipment and among the Germans and Avars because of a change in war tactics. Due to its convenient position, Gradina on Biograci was constantly inhabited from prehistoric times to the developed Middle Ages which influenced the mixing of Roman and late antique materials and made
it difficult to identify and date this material during excavations.
According to some authors, lamellar armor of the second half of the 6th century is considered an elite military equipment and thus a status symbol. Their appearance on Biograci is a rare and unique find in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s early byzantine site.