Phrygian Fibulae

Phrygian fibula are named after Phrygia, a region in central Turkey. However, according to some sources the fibula group originated in Cyprus and they may also be known as Cypriote fibula. Several of the types were in use throughout the Near east including Mesopotamia, Persia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt.

These fibulae are also known as Elbow fibulae or Hand fibulae though only some of the types actually resemble and arm with elbow and hand. This type was introduced sometime between the 8th to 6th centuries BC but were used for a long time.  For example, many were found at Massada where they are possibly associated with Herod's local mercenary troops, thus dating some types to at least the first century BC.

Asymmetric Bow Fibula with Enlargement Between Two Buttons (Blinkenberg XIII.1)

I-bar Bow Fibula (Blinkenberg XIII.2)

Semi-Circular Bow Fibula with Moulded Pearls (Blinkenberg XIII.3)

Semi-Circular Bow Fibula with Four Spherical Buttons and One Rectangular Plate (Blinkenberg XIII.4)

Semi-Circular Moulded Bow Fibula (Blinkenberg XIII.5)

Slightly Curved Bow Fibula with Moulded Extremities (Blinkenberg XIII.6)

Bow Fibula with Pairs of Rings Between Three Buttons (Blinkenberg XIII.7)

Plain Bow Fibula (Blinkenberg XIII.8)

Bow Fibula with Moulded Extremities (Blinkenberg XIII.9)

Elbow Bow Fibula with Two Buttons (Blinkenberg XIII.10)

Elbow Bow Fibula with Two Pairs of Buttons (Blinkenberg XIII.11)

Richly Moulded Elbow Bow Fibula (Blinkenberg XIII.12)

Image: A matched pair of richly moulded Phrygian fibulae. These are known as "arm" or "hand" or sometimes "elbow" fibulae due to their shape. The iron pins are modern replacements. This pair are reportedly Persian.  (SC Collection)

Elbow Bow Fibula with 90 Degree Bend (Blinkenberg XIII.13)

Bow Fibula in Triangular Form with Eyelet at Top (Blinkenberg XIII.14)

Bow Fibula in Triangular Form with Button at Top (Blinkenberg XIII.15)


Blinkenberg, C. Fibules grecques et orientales. (Copenhagen, 1926).