Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Wednesday 15 July 2015

Newly discovered rare gold spirals from Bronze Age on display in Denmark

(Xinhua)    19:27, July 15, 2015

COPENHAGEN, July 15 -- Nearly 2,000 small gold spirals that were recently unearthed in Denmark were put on display Wednesday at a museum in Skaelskoer, some 115 km southwest of here.

The gold spirals, measuring up to three cm in length, are made of thin, flattened gold wire, and archaeologists believe they date to the Bronze Age period from 900 to 700 B.C.

Archaeologists said they had never seen such things before in Denmark.

"Maybe the spirals were attached to cords which served as a small fringe on a hat or a parasol. Perhaps they were braided into the hair or embroidered on the suit," said Flemming Kaul, curator at the National Museum of Denmark.

"The fact is that we do not know, but I tend to believe they were part of a priest king's costume or headwear," Kaul explained in a press release on the museum's website.

The gold spirals were unearthed in the Boeslunde area to the north of Skaelskoer, where several Bronze Age gold artefacts had been found.

Kirsten Christensen, curator at West Zealand Museum who participated in the excavation, said two local amateur archaeologists found four heavy gold arm rings a couple of years ago in the same area.

"This magnificent find prompted us to carry out a further excavation in order to find out whether there was more prehistoric gold hidden in the field," Christensen said.

The gold spirals were excavated in a field in an area of just a few square meters. In one area, they lay in rows or small bundles of three and four pieces together. In the other, the spirals were in a pile, according to Christensen.

Christensen said besides the four gold rings that triggered the excavation, six other large and heavy gold rings had been found in the same area. Moreover, in the 1800s some local farmers found six gold vessels in a place located some 500 meters away.

Together the rings weigh 3.5 kg and the bowls and beakers just over one kg, making them one of the largest gold finds from the Bronze Age in Northern Europe.

"It shows that the place had a special significance for the Bronze Age people when they chose to sacrifice several kilograms of gold," said Christensen.

Kaul is convinced that Boeslunde was a special sacred place in the Bronze Age where prehistoric people performed their rituals and offered gold to the higher powers.

"Maybe the priest king wore a gold ring on his wrist, and gold spirals on his cloak and his hat, where they shone like the sun during ritual sun ceremonies. The sun was one of the most sacred symbols in the Bronze Age and gold had a special magic," Kaul explained.

Archaeologists believe that there is more gold to be found at Boeslunde, and further digs in the area will be conducted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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