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Thuringians and Franks: End of the 4th Century AD – 7th Century

Slavische Siedlung, Rekonstruktion der Siedlung Weimar-West, Bild Artus Atelier
Slav­is­che Sied­lung, Rekon­struk­tion der Sied­lung Wei­mar-West, Bild Artus Atelier

Wanderlust – Migrating Germanic Peoples and a New Kingdom

Light is shed upon the tri­bal soci­ety of the Thuringi­ans, and the King­dom of Thuringia that emerged from it in the 5th cen­tury, both by import­ant archae­olo­gical finds and his­tor­ical documents.

Weapons from Thuringian buri­als and the opu­lent golden jew­ellery found with the ‘Lady of Oss­mannstedt’ bespeak con­tact with the Huns and the Ostrogoths. Thuringian crafts, jew­ellery, con­tain­ers, and tools, along with the chariot burial of a noble­wo­man in Erfurt-Gis­persleben, point to the inde­pend­ence and vibrancy of the Kingdom.

A Lam­ent­a­tion attrib­uted to Radegund, niece of of the Thuringian King, provides import­ant inform­a­tion about the down­fall of the King­dom of Thuringia in 531, an import­ant chapter in the his­tory of cent­ral Ger­many. A rep­lica of her wooden lectern from the Abbey of the Holy Cross in Poit­i­ers can be seen in the museum.

The increas­ing integ­ra­tion of regional élite classes into the East Frank­ish Empire is demon­strated by richly pro­vi­sioned buri­als of indi­vidu­als from the nobil­ity through­out Thuringia in the 7th cen­tury. Under the influ­ence of the Franks, Chris­tian beliefs were spread and strengthened through­out Thuringia in the 7th cen­tury, a change reflec­ted in sym­bolic ele­ments of Thuringian attire.