Germanic Iron Age
The Germanic Iron Age is the name modern scholars give to the period 400–800 in Northern Europe, and is part of the continental Age of Migrations. It is divided into the early Germanic Iron Age (EGIA) and the late Germanic Iron Age (LGIA). In Sweden, LGIA 550–800 is usually called the Vendel era, in Norway, the Merovinger (Merovingian) Age.
The Germanic Iron Age follows the Roman Iron Age. It begins with the fall of the Roman empire and the rise of the Celtic and Germanic kingdoms in Western Europe. It is followed, in Northern Europe and Scandinavia, by the Viking Age.
After the Roman empire fell, gold became scarce and Scandinavians began to make objects of gilded bronze, with decorative figures of interlacing animals. In the EGIA, the decorations tended to be representational—the animal figures are rather faithful anatomically; in the LGIA, they tended to be more abstract or symbolic—intricate interlaced shapes and limbs like those characteristic of the Viking Age that followed.
- Early Man in Britain and His Place in the Tertiary Period. By Boyd Dawkins. p423