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A Metal Detectorist In Poland Discovered A Medieval Pilgrim’s Badge Depicting Either A Dragon With Wings Or A Serpent-Like Creature From European Folklore

Sergej Razvodovskij - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

In Poland, a metal artifact was uncovered, and it is thought to be a “medieval pilgrim’s badge.” An anonymous metal detectorist made the discovery in the village of Wólka Nieliska, which is located in the region of Lublin.

The artifact was given to an independent archaeologist in Wrocław named Tomasz Murzyński, who handed it over to Lublin’s Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments, where it is now state property.

According to the provincial conservator of monuments for the city of Lublin, the object is small and round, measuring about one inch across and less than a tenth of an inch thick.

It was cast from a lead and tin alloy. It also features a depiction of what seems to be a dragon with wings or a basilisk, which is a serpent-like creature from European folklore with a deadly stare.

In medieval Europe, it was common for some Christian pilgrims to wear badges as a way of protecting themselves from evil, such as diseases, assault, theft, other crimes, and random accidents, during their travels.

The badges showed that they had made a visit somewhere or were traveling to a particular holy place.

In addition, they believed that donning the badges would set them apart from everyone else and distinguish themselves as pilgrims, so some of them would even display multiple badges on their clothing.

The pilgrims’ badges varied in shape and came in many different designs, including squares, spirals, shells, shields, crosses, and rings. They also typically portrayed figures of knights, saints, and human heads, or creatures like dragons and birds.

Several badges belonging to medieval pilgrims have been found throughout Europe. The earliest example of one of these badges dates back to the 11th century. It was shaped like a clam shell, and its wearer was journeying on the “Way of St. James” pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

Sergej Razvodovskij – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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