God with hartshorns

Kettle with strange engravings


The Gundestrup Kettle was found in May 1891. Peat diggers working in Fox Bog" at Gundestrup east of Aars suddenly turned up a valuable silver kettle decorated with strange images. It dates back to the Iron Age, about 100 years BC, and was sacrificed in the bog to …

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Corridor to the Balkans

Time / Periode 1891
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The style and workmanship of the Gundestrup Cauldron suggest it was made by the ancient Thracians, a tribe that inhabited Bulgaria and Romania, while the imagery is associated with the Celts that lived in Central Europe for centuries before the Christian Era. One theory is that the cauldron was made where these two peoples lived in close proximity in the Balkans. But the Gundestrup Cauldron is not the only find from this era that testifies to Danish links with Thracian tribes. A sword from Hjortspring Mose, a peat-bog on the Danish island of Als, features a single-edged backward-curving blade and is thought to be influenced by swords that were popular in the Balkans. The base of the Gundestrup Cauldron depicts a sword with this curvature. A magnificent gold torc from Dronninglund in Vendsyssel, North Jutland, is thought to have been made on the Black Sea coast or in Ukraine. Around the start of the Christian Era, the Nordic peoples started producing large pear-shaped gold beads known as berloks. Their inspiration is thought to have come from Thracian workshops that made beads in the shape of miniaturised silver jugs and beakers. In Scandinavia, the Thracian "jug bead" was inverted, to create a distinctive regional bead shape. It is not known how the Gundestrup Cauldron reached Denmark, but it was probably brought back by Jutlandic Cimbrians who warred far south and who might have received it as an alliance gift or claimed it as war spoils.

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Stories (2)

Southern spoils of war?

Where does the Gundestrup Kettle come from? Elephants, lions and exotic gods indicate that it comes…

Corridor to the Balkans

The style and workmanship of the Gundestrup Cauldron suggest it was made by the ancient Thracians, a…

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