Unique gold figurine found in Denmark
|The head of the figurine viewed from three angles|
[Credit: René Laursen]
Stretched arms and sagging breasts
The woman has a long and slender body, which may have been made out of a thin bar of gold. The head is elongated with a protruding jaw and incised hair. The breasts are sagging and below both shoulders are notches, indicating that her arms have been tied around her body.
The arms are stretched and the thumbs are pressed against one another, while the other fingers are facing downwards. On the stomach is a more clearly incised belt decorated with a zig-zag pattern, and the private parts are clearly visible between the short and thin legs.
Possibly a symbol of fertility and health
The golden woman appears to be either standing on her toes or jumping up athletically with the insteps stretched. And above the elegantly shaped feet, the calves and knees are clearly visible.
|Close-up of the golden figurine. Note the belt and the rings around|
the feet and the arms [Credit: René Laursen]
Remarkably, the back side has ten prominent ‘teeth’, something that has never been seen before.
Naked female figurines are a rarity in Nordic Iron Age art, where male figurines dominated.
The fifth figurine in the series
The golden woman is the fifth in a series of small, golden human figurines from the Smørenge field on Bornholm. The first four are all believed to depict men, while there is no doubt about the gender of the last addition to the series.
|A parade of the five golden figurines that have been found so far in this|
exciting field on Bornholm [Credit: René Laursen]
Common to all the five figurines is that the heads are plastically formed, but otherwise there is a great deal of variation.
The plough separated the figurines
The five figurines were probably buried in the same place, individually or collectively, at some point during the 6th century AD, i.e. the Migration Period.
Three of them were found within five metres of each other, while the other two were found 10-15 metres further away. Presumably it was the plough that separated them.
This location may have been chosen due to the presence of one or more springs.
Only an excavation would give more information about the characteristics of the place, and such plans have now become a high priority.
Author: René Laursen | Source: Science Nordic [June 12, 2013]