The Queen's BuckleLesson

Who do you believe?

14th century?

Motala stream

You might think that everything written is true. Or do you mistrust everything? Sometimes the truth is somewhere in between, even in a museum. Read and make up your mind.

A Reliable Text?

In the History Museum in Stockholm there is an exhibition called Sweden’s History. Among many things a large buckle of gold inlayed with gemstones is displayed. The text says:

"In 1335 King Magnus married Blanka of Namur (in present-day Belgium). The large buckle is made in Paris in the beginning of the 14th Century and may have been a part of the Queen’s dowry. It was found several hundred years later by an eel fisherman in Motala stream by Kimstad outside Norrköping."

Read the texts below relating to the buckle. Make notes and think about whether the display text gives a truthful description of the object. A few questions to help you along:

  • Which source seems most reliable?
  • Do you think that one of the sources is more/less reliable?
  • Why do you think so?
  • What do we really know about the buckle? Write down the facts.

Places of Interest

Several places in the vicinity of the find site has been mentioned as connected to the buckle. The common denominator is that they are places where high ranking priests or rich individuals have lived. In the menu in the top left corner you will find all locations on the map.

A Challenge for You

With the available information it is now time for you to write a text to the buckle. The current display text has 51 words. Try to keep your text fewer than 60 words. Some important things to remember are:

  • Who are you writing for? (It might decide how difficult your text can be.)
  • What is the most important part of the information? (Put it first or last in your text, not in the middle.)
  • How do you want the reader to feel about the object? (You could use value-charged words or stress/omit certain aspects of information.)

Compare your finished text with someone else. Explain your work process and your reasoning.



The content is produced by: Historiska museet

For teachers

The buckle found in Motala stream once belonged to a wealthy person, that much is evident. But what more could we say? This lesson gives the pupils an opportunity to explore historical sources and to critically reason about what the sources really can tell us about the buckle.