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Vindelev Treasure Re-Writes Ancient History – World’s Oldest Runic Inscription Of God Odin Found On Ancient Gold Pendants

Jan Bartek – – With 800 grams of actual gold, the Vindelev treasure is likely one of the largest treasures unearthed not too long ago. Found by two outdated buddies and beginner archaeologists in a subject in Jelling, Denmark, in 2020, the traditional artifacts now reveal secrets and techniques from the previous and re-write historical historical past!

The discovery is of the utmost significance as a result of we now have proof of Norse mythology 150 years sooner than beforehand – already in the beginning of the 4th century.

Vindelev Treasure Re-Writes Ancient History - World's Oldest Runic Inscription Of God Odin Found On Ancient Gold Pendants

The oldest instance we have now thus far of people writing the phrase ‘Odin’. This means that the Nordic god was already a central a part of the cult within the fourth century. Credit Photo: Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum, Denmark

The Vindelev treasure was found the place there had been a farm consisting of a number of longhouses and fences. For this purpose, it’s assumed the treasure belonged to a neighborhood chieftain or maybe king, who buried it inside or close to the home. In the 4th and fifth centuries, rich people wore gold medallions to indicate their standing and wealth.

Studies of two 1,600-12 months-outdated gold medallions which can be a part of the treasure led to the invention of very lengthy runic inscriptions during which the title of the supreme god of the Aesir, Odin, seems.

Runologist and script researcher Lisbeth Imer and linguist Krister Vasshus from the National Museum in Denmark made this unbelievable discovery.

On the gold medallion, there’s additionally a portrait of an unknown king or nice man, who might have had the (nick)title “Jaga” or “Jagaz,” and it’s exactly right here that Odin’s title comes into play. Next to him, it says that he’s “Odin’s man.”

“But who is that this Odin’s husband? It should be the hunter who might have had the (name) title Jaga.

And who’s the hunter or Jaga?

We know that Saxo calls the photographs on bracteates kings and that the bracteates imitate Roman imperial depictions.

Therefore, we should interpret the inscription as a presentation of the particular person depicted, the king.

The king is known as Odin’s husband, which reveals his divine legitimacy, and maybe additionally tells us that he’s the supreme cult chief of society,” the science staff explains in a press assertion.

The inscription runs in a circle across the motif of the bracteate, which reveals a king’s face seen in profile and with a pleasant coiffure. In entrance of the face are a swastika and a semicircle that maybe symbolizes the solar and the moon.

Under its face stands a 4-legged animal, presumably a horse, with a marked harness and one thing protruding of its mouth. The horse’s ear factors in direction of the king’s open mouth. “The runic inscription has been probably the most tough to interpret in my 20 years as a runologist on the National Museum. Still, the invention can also be completely implausible,” says Lisbeth Imer.

The different gold medallion additionally has a protracted inscription that seems to have been copied on one of many different pendants. However, it’s poorly executed copy.

Vindelev Treasure Re-Writes Ancient History - World's Oldest Runic Inscription Of God Odin Found On Ancient Gold Pendants

The motifs of the bracteates had been produced in matrices (stamps) of bronze, which had been stamped into plates of gold. That means, you might make a number of bracts with the identical motif. The inscription runs from proper to left on the bracteate and was initially written from left to proper within the matrix. Credit Photo: Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum, Denmark

This pendant additionally reveals a king seen from the facet with a pleasant coiffure above a horse with its ear pointing in direction of the king’s mouth.

In entrance of the face are the identical symbols as on the primary bracteate and three dots which maybe symbolize the celebs.

The inscription runs in a circle across the motif, and among the characters are clearly runes, whereas others simply seem like or are blurred lengthy traces.

It appears that whoever made the inscription within the matrix didn’t totally perceive the textual content however copied the looks of the characters as greatest he may.

Vindelev Treasure Re-Writes Ancient History - World's Oldest Runic Inscription Of God Odin Found On Ancient Gold Pendants

The lengthy inscription on one other bracteate from the Vindelev treasure is a poorly executed copy of the superbly executed one. Credit Photo: Arnold Mikkelsen, The National Museum of Denmark

The which means of the inscription has clearly been the identical as on the primary bracteate, however there’s one element that signifies that it can’t be interpreted as a direct copy of the primary:

The title Odin is spelled in a different way, and it additionally appears that the scribe has swapped two runes. Where he really needed to put in writing woþanas , he has written þowa(nas) .

The two runes, representing the sounds /w/ and /þ/, are nearly an identical, making them straightforward to confuse – particularly when the runes are solely 2mm excessive.

This means a 3rd inscription as soon as existed with the identical content material as the 2 bracts. It will need to have been a vital and maybe sacred textual content that many have been curious about copying.

There may very well be many good causes for being fulfilled by Odin’s energy and magical skills as a king.

The answer to an outdated riddle

The lengthy and full inscription on the bracteate from Vindelev is the important thing to a number of unsolved riddles within the Iron Age.

It reveals that Odin is a really outdated deity, already recognized within the 4th century and that the photographs of the bracteates ought to quite be interpreted as kings than because the god himself.

It can also be the important thing to understanding how illegible bracteate inscriptions initially made sense.

The medallions are dated to the fourth century and are thus the oldest examples of the god Odin’s title on this planet – at the least for now.

Vindelev Treasure Re-Writes Ancient History - World's Oldest Runic Inscription Of God Odin Found On Ancient Gold Pendants

Two nearly an identical bracteates, made with the identical stamp. But one has been present in Vindelev in Jutland, the opposite at Bolbro on Funen. Credit: Photo: Arnold Mikkelsen, The National Museum of Denmark

The oldest inscription thus far during which the god Odin seems is from the southern German space.

At a big burial floor close to Nordendorf, the god’s title was discovered scratched on the again of a swimsuit buckle courting to the second half of the fifth century.

Runes performed a vital half within the lives of the Vikings. Unfortunately, there are few stays of runic writing on paper from the Viking period. Nevertheless, 1000’s of stones with runic inscriptions have been discovered the place Vikings lived.

In Denmark, Odin’s title is represented on a chunk of a human cranium from Ribe. Here, Odin is invoked as one in every of three gods who should assist the amulet’s proprietor from sickness.

A humorous element is that the bracteate with the poorly executed textual content from Vindelev has a stamp-an identical twin from Bolbro on the outskirts of Odense, made with the identical die.

The Bolbro bracteate was present in 1852 and has since been within the National Museum’s collections.

There has thus been an historical Odin inscription within the National Museum’s exhibitions for the previous 170 years – however nobody knew that till the Vindelev treasure was discovered.

Lisbeth M. Imer and Krister SK Vasshus publish a scientific article in regards to the runic bracteates from Vindelev within the worldwide journal NOWELE (North-Western European Language Evolution), which will probably be printed in April-May 2023.

The Vindelev treasure might be seen within the National Museum’s Great Dane exhibition, ‘The hunt for Denmark’s historical past’ for the remainder of 2023. The Bolbro bracteate is a part of the everlasting exhibition on the National Museum.

Written by Jan Bartek – Staff Writer


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