Will we ever know which mythical figure this is? (Photo: Vest-Agder County Council).
In February, Nicolai Davidsen (15) found a Viking Age bronze pendant with metal detector. The discovery was made in an area with many registered burial mounds nearby Lillesand in Southern Norway.
Nicolai tells NRK Sørlandet that he could see that it was “a small metallic object with a hammer, arms and face.”
The object is dating back to the 800s, i.e. early Viking Age. The ornamentation is Borre style, a style evolving at the latest about 850 AD and still used in the late 10th century.
Its most characteristic motif is the so-called “ring braid” which consists of a symmetrical braiding with two bands, held together by rings that are surrounded by square figures.
It frequently features mask-head like animal heads, pretzel shaped bodies, and gripping paws.
Out of Center
The hole on the top of the pendant is out of center, and on the backside, there are traces of an attachment point. One theory is that the artefact originally was used for the decoration of a horse or dog harness gear.
The pendant is complete and in good condition and will be examined and stored at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo.
Unfortunately, scientists probably never can give us the answer to which mythical figure this is and what it represented.
Today, quality metal detectors have become affordable for almost every Norwegian hobby archeologist, something that has resulted in many exciting discoveries.
The Norwegian Metal Detecting Association (NMF) currently has over 400 members who are doing important work documenting the Norwegian cultural heritage.
Members have found a number of objects dating all the way back the Bronze Age, and you will find a sample of artefacts here on the NMF Digital Museum (only in Norwegian).
The site where Nicolai found the bronze pendant is registered in the “Askeladden” National Cultural Heritage Database, and on kulturminnesok.no you can click om the map and see the exact location of this and thousands of other discoveries.
Text by: Thor Lanesskog
Main source: Vest-Agder County Council