War and cult in the Iron Age
" Illerup Ådal, near Skanderborg in East Jutland, was drained in 1950, exposing weapons from the Iron Age onwards. Two excavation campaigns have been carried out covering a total of 40,000 square metres – altogether about half the original area of the Iron Age…
The eagles are coming!
Shortly after the year 200, a large number of bows and arrows were sacrificed at Illerup. The bog's unique environment even preserved the remains of the tar that held the tail feathers in place and the impressions of some feathers are still visible in the tar. The tail feathers have been identified as those of the white-tailed eagle – a bird that is rare today but was common in Iron Age Scandinavia. According to the ancient sagas, the eagle was a bird of war that accompanied the armies into battle. There may be a grain of truth in the old sagas, as the eagle feathers on the arrow shafts were certainly heard whistling majestically through the air as they flew from the bows to find their mark.
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Shortly after the year 200, a large number of bows and arrows were sacrificed at Illerup. The…