If you want to use this site please update your browser!
02.12.2020

Silver figure of Odin, Lejre

Odin of the Leira is a small cast silver figure, dating from around 900 AD, depicting a man on a throne surrounded by two birds and two animal heads.

The figurine was found by local amateur archaeologist Tommy Olesen on September 2, 2009 during excavations at the Roskille Museum in a small village in Gammel Leira ("Old Leira") near the modern city of Leira, Denmark. The figurine was opened in the Roskille Museum November 13, 2009 and is now part of a permanent exhibition.

Cast silver statuette is dated around 900 AD, has a height of 18 mm and weighs 9 grams. It depicts a man on a throne wearing a floor-to-floor dress, an apron, four bead necklaces, a neck ring, a cape and a hat without frames. On the armrests sit two birds, and the back of the throne depicts the heads of two animals. The figurine is inlaid with black niello ( black alloy) and has a gold.

The personality of the depicted figure was the subject of debate. The excavators interpreted it as the god Odin sitting on the throne of Hlidskjalph, from whom he sees all the worlds. The birds are the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who collected information for Odin. The heads of the beast can symbolize the two wolves Odin, Geri and Freki . However, some scientists, specializing in Viking Age clothing and gender representation, indicated that a person is fully dressed in women's clothing, which led to the theory that the figure may actually represent the goddess Frigg or Freya. Parallels were noted between "One of the Leira" and a silver figure, often called Freia, found in Aske, Sweden.

UP