To understand the transition between the Early and the Late Scandinavian Iron Age, and the turbulent time around the year 536, we are dependent on our ability to recognize the changes in the artefacts. A chronology with well-defined criteria concerning the latest phase of the Migration Period as well as the beginning of the Merovingian Period is, therefore, required. The small square-headed brooches with spade-shaped feet is one of the types replacing cruciform brooches in the late Migration Period. Our paper discusses their typology and chronology in relation to other late types of brooches and pots as well as early Merovingian types of jewellery, aiming at a more easily accessible synthesis of a complex chronological discussion. Finally, we comment on the definition and relationship of the chronological phases on both sides of the period transition, touching upon the implications for the social changes and the bearers of the brooches.
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