Dragoslava's Lunitsa Documentation


Finished Lunitsa

10th – 11th century Lunnitsa (Kievian Rus)

10th century, Silver, Crescent Pendant (Lunnitsa) and Ring Pendants, Village of Gnezdovo, Smolensk Region, Russia, 5.9cm high (The State Hermitage museum)

            The lunnitsa is a pagan crescent shaped pendant worn from the 10th to 11th centuries (The State Hermitage Museum). Samples of this piece have been commonly found throughout Russian and Ukrainian burial sites and were rarely found in Viking-Rus sites. Archeological finds in Village of Gnezdovo, Smolensk Region, Russia and Chernigov, Ukraine have yielded numerous examples of lunnitsi.

Lunnitsa are exclusively found in the graves of women from all levels of society. The majority of the pieces have been made of silver, but gold ones have rarely been found. (The Odessa Museum of Numismatics). One unique mother of pearl lunnitsa was found in the Boldinogorsk necropolis in Chernigov (Shevchenko).

The designs of the crescents ranged from a flat undecorated silhouette to pieces elaborately decorated with filigree, beading and granulation. (The State Hermitage Museum).



         Lunnitsi from the Kievan Rus period (X - XIII centuries), The Odessa Museum of Numismatics


The piece I produced is has design elements drawn from several pieces. It was made from a flat piece of sterling silver cut to shape, onto which were soldered beads; and a loop made from rings of silver wire. The pieces was cleaned and then polished with a fine grit to make it shiny.


Shevchenko, Yu. Yu., "Lower levels of the Ilinsk underground monastery in Chernigov, hegumens of the Monastery, and the “Jerusalem trace” in Cave Architecture" Journal Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia; V.25, No. 1, pp.89-109 (2006)

The Odessa Museum of Numismatics http://www.museum.com.ua/expo/kult_izd_en.html 

The State Hermitage Museum http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_2_14f.html