Friday, May 22, 2015

The Viksø helmets

In a newly opened peat-digging area of Brøns Mose at Viksø (Veksø) on Zealand, Denmark in 1942, one of the workers heard a crunching sound under his spade as he pressed it into the peat. He had chanced upon the incredible find of two almost identical horned helmets of bronze. These were decorated with bosses and adorned with eyes and beaks. The helmets from Viksø are from the Bronze Age and were made in the early part of the first millennium BC. They were almost certainly used at religious ceremonies. Later on they were deposited in the bog as offerings. One of the helmets was placed on a wooden tray of ash.

 Horned helmets must have been familiar objects in the North of Europe. Numerous rock carvings, especially from western Sweden, show men wearing horned helmets, holding an axe like object, and raising a sun disk.

We can get an idea of how the helmets were used by looking at figures and depictions of helmet-clad men. Two small male figures of bronze were found in the 18th century at Grevensvænge, near Næstved. The men wear helmets with curved horns like those from Viksø. Only one of the figures is preserved today, but old drawings of the find show that the two men originally knelt down besides each other and each had a large ornamental axe in one hand.
The same motif, of kneeling men wearing helmets and carrying axes, is depicted on a razor from Vestrup in south Zealand. The men are sitting in a boat. Ships, helmets and ornamental axes were all used in connection with religious activities in the later Bronze Age. 

The horned helmets from Viksø are more than just helmets. To the people of the Bronze Age they were rich in religious meaning and probably related to myths about holy animals and divine powers. They functioned both as helmets and masks, as they were equipped with eyes and a hooked beak. 
Further features are connected to animals.  A comb with a groove intended for the insertion of hair is located upon the crown. This hair may have been from a horse, so that the helmets had manes like horses. Finally feathers from a crane or another large bird could be stuck in to the two small cylindrical fittings and in the ends of both horns. 
The same theme of a hooked beak at the forehead and round staring eyes is repeated in numerous objects found throughout Bronze Age Europe.
Two helmets were found, and indeed it is suggested by other finds that what ever deity was represented came in pairs.

It is surprising how much remains from a time so long ago, enough in fact for us to guess something about the fascinating beliefs and practices of these ancient peoples.

Friday Open Road

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Checking for Al Gore

Deep thoughts

Your bowl's empty because you just ate the neighbor's cat

10 rounds for calibration

Via Xbrad

42 seconds from leak to landing.

During the 70th Anniversary of VE flyover of the capitol by dozens of warbirds, many people noticed a TBM Avenger suddenly leave the formation. It had suffered a hydraulic leak. Here’s some dramatic in cockpit video.

Via Xbrad