Norse gods older than once thought

Runes on an ancient golden decorative plate are now the first known mention of Odin, the king of the Nordic gods – i.e. 150 years earlier than previously thought.

The golden ‘bracteate’ is part of a huge archaeological feature which was revealed two years ago by amateurs Jørgen Antonsen and Ole Schytz.

The collection, known as the ‘Vindelev Hoard’, includes 22 golden objects dating to before the Viking Age.

All this means that the existence of the Norse gods can now be traced back to the 5th century AD.

Odin’s man?
The runes, engraved in a circle around the head of a man who appears to be a king or nobleman, say: “He is Odin’s man”. Scholars have transliterated the man’s name as ‘Jaga’ or ‘Jagaz’.

Before jumping to conclusions that pre-Viking societies are progressive, it is important to remember that the meaning of the engraving is most likely cryptic.

“This runic inscription has been the most difficult to interpret in my 20 years as a runologist at the National Museum,” said Lisbeth Imer.

“It may become a key to understanding other prehistoric runic inscriptions that we have not been able to read until now.”

A once in a generation discovery
It is a discovery that comes once every 50 years, according to linguist Krister Vasshus.

There are three other symbols near the man’s head: a horse, what appears to be a bracelet or horseshoe, and a swastika.

In Norse mythology, the swastika was often associated with Odin or Thor.

Source: The Nordic Page




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