A few days ago, I wrote in a post that I would like to find Charlotte Blindheim's article about the Vaernes find, and Inga Hägg's article about the origins of the peplos.
Shortly thereafter, the wonderful pearl provided me with both! Thanks again, pearl!
I have not had much time to digest either article, but I've already gleaned the following additional points that are giving me even more food for thought.
- The Vaernes find, like some of the Birka apron dress finds, appears to have been a fine diamond-twill. But....
- What may be a string loop also appears to have been found under the brooch that was part of the Vaernes find. So perhaps the Vaernes find does not constitute an example of a "peplos" overdress where the pins were stuck directly through the cloth, after all.
- Hägg's article about the origins of the peplos, which I am still in the middle of reading, is fascinating. It points out that the jewelry in the Bronze Age Danish finds has a lot in common with the early Hallstatt finds--as well as with ancient Greek finds, and Iron Age Baltic area jewelry (e.g., belts with large bronze bosses, headdresses made from fine bronze coils). The implication is that the similarities in the jewelry finds indicate commonalities of costume--and that the peplos may well have found its way to northern Europe well before Rome.
What all of this might say about the provenance of the Viking age apron dress is hard to discern (and Hägg only hints at it in the article), but the possibilities are tantalizing.