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Gold disc represents the oldest reference to Odin

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Runologists from the National Museum in Copenhagen have deciphered a god disc found in western Denmark which is inscribed with the oldest known reference to Odin.

Odin appears in the recorded history of Northern Europe from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, through the movement of peoples during the Migration Period and the Viking Age.

Most of the surviving information on Odin dates from Norse mythology, where he is described as the husband of the goddess Frigg, and the father of many sons, most famously the gods Thor (with Jörð) and Baldr (with Frigg).

Odin is also associated with the divine battlefield maidens, the Valkyries, and he oversees Valhalla, where he receives half of those who die in battle, the einherjar, sending the other half to the goddess Freyja’s Fólkvangr.

The disc was discovered in 2020 in the village of Vindelev, located in central Jutland, Denmark. The disc is part of a large trove of gold dubbed the Vindelev hoard, which includes golden medallions and Roman coins made into jewellery. The most notable coin depicts the Roman emperor, Constantine the Great (285-337 AD).

Image Credit : National Museum in Copenhagen

Archaeologists suggest that the hoard was buried around 1,500 years ago during the 5th century AD, placing the disc to at least 150 years older than the previous oldest reference, which was found on a brooch in southern Germany from the 6th century AD.

The disc is a bracteate which is inscribed with “He is Odin’s man”, likely referring to a ruler or tribal leader, who buried the hoard during a period of conflict or as a tribute to appease the gods.

According to the National Museum in Copenhagen, more than 1,000 bracteates have been unearthed to date from across the breadth of northern Europe.

The Vindelev Hoard is a part of Vejlemuseerne’s large Viking exhibition ‘Power and gold – Vikings in the east’.

National Museum in Copenhagen

Header Image Credit : National Museum in Copenhagen

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Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

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Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

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Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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