Tag Archives: Denmark

Archaeologists Unearth Trove of 2,000 Mysterious Gold Spirals in Denmark 

Bronze Age gold spirals found in Boeslund, 900-700 BC. Credit: Morten Petersen / Zealand Museum.

A team of archaeologists working in Boeslunde, Denmark recently stumbled onto an intriguing mystery: nearly 2,000 tightly-wound golden spirals dating back to the Bronze Age. The discovery of gold in Boeslunde isn’t uncommon, as numerous gold objects have been unearthed in the region over the last few years. But the purpose of these coils has stumped archaeologists who refer to the find as the “golden enigma.”

The spirals are made from extremely pure gold that was hammered flat to just 0.1 millimeter thick. Some pieces measure up to 1.18 inches long and all together weigh between 200 to 300 grams (7-10 ounces). Their exact purpose is anyone’s guess, but Flemming Kaul, a curator with the National Museum of Denmark, believes the coils are most likely related to prehistoric Bronze Age people who were known to offer gold to higher powers as part of sun rituals.

“The sun was one of the most sacred symbols in the Bronze Age and gold had a special magic,” Kaul writes. “Maybe the priest-king wore a gold ring on his wrist, and gold spirals on his cloak and his hat, where they during ritual sun ceremonies shone like the sun.” It’s also suggested the gold was simply buried as part of an elaborate sacrifice.

Whatever the use or meaning behind the pieces, it’s an extraordinary and priceless find. The local museum in
Skaelskor already held a temporary viewing before the spirals find a permanent home. You can read more over on the History Blog. (via Neatorama, Gizmodo)

Gold spirals surrounded by flakes of birch pitch. Credit: Flemming Kaul / National Museum of Denmark.

Gold spiral in situ. Credit: Flemming Kaul / National Museum of Denmark.

Credot:Morten Petersen / Museum Vestsjælland.

Update: Adam Swickle writes: “The shavings are from shaving gold coins down. Merchants did this when they paid in quantity instead of weight, and that is why coins have ridges now, to show they haven’t been shaven down.”

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Highlights from Sculpture by the Sea 2013 in Aarhus, Denmark 

Alejandro Propato / Permanent Sunrise

Alejandro Propato / Permanent Sunrise

Vibeke Noergaard Roensbo / Remind

Phil Price / Snake

Yeo Chee Kiong / A yoga and pedicure diy session on the beach

Brandon Vickerd / Sputnik Returned

The Glue Society / Once (An entire amusement park crushed into a 4 x 4 metre cube.)

The Glue Society / Once, detail

The Glue Society / Once, detail

Last week marked the opening of Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark including sculptural artworks from 64 artists hailing from 22 countries around the world. Above are some of my favorite works currently on view, including the jaw-dropping sculpture Once by James Dive of the Glue Society (previously) who managed to compress an entire mobile amusement park into a 4×4 meter cube, rides, games, prizes and all. Worst. Carnival. Ever. Also of note is Alejandro Propato’s Permanent Sunrise, a colorful thread installation that visually aligns with the actual location of the sunrise over Aarhus Bay. Sculpture by the Sea will be on view through the end of the month.

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Ridiculously Imaginative Playgrounds by Monstrum 

Danish firm Monstrum, founded by Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, are responsible for some of the most brilliant playscapes I’ve ever seen. From life-size blue whales, giant serpents, and wobbly castles, any one of these would have been my dream come true as a child. See many more examples in their project gallery. (via super punch)

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