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Vekso Helmets

The Veksø helmets (or Viksø helmets) represent a pair of Bronze Age ceremonial horned helmets found near Veksø in Zealand , Denmark.

In 1942, a worker was digging (about 0.7 m below the surface of the moss) a peat bog site in Brøns Møse, Viksø, when he felt that his spade went through something hard. The find, considered a waste, had to be set aside. On later inspection, however, it was discovered to be a decorated bronze object with a matching wooden plate with a groove, which appears to have been a helmet stand. Subsequent archaeological excavations at the discovery site in the same year returned other parts of the helmet. Analysis of the 1940s remains showed that the wooden tray was ash wood , and the helmet may have had feathers on it. The first technical report on the helmets was published by Norling-Christensen in 1946.

Brøns Mose is thought to have been a lake in the Bronze Age and an extension of the modern reservoir Løged Sø , making the helmets a probable marsh tribute . Radiocarbon dating indicates that the wooden trays associated with the helmets are from an earlier period than the helmets. In addition, shards of broken pots were found above the helmets, but this may not be related to the deposit.

Two helmets of almost identical construction were found - the main material was bronze with a high tin content (16.8%) with small amounts of lead, arsenic, antimony and nickel (all 0.1 to 1%) and traces of silver (~0.05%). . Stylistically, the hemispherical main part is reminiscent of the simple textile hats of the period as well as the metal helmets of Urnfield - the hemispheres were made of two forged pieces joined by rivets in a seam running front to back across the top, with a heavy connecting rim or ridge on the crossbar. top - either end of the ridge ended with a downward facing "hook", perhaps intended to resemble the beak of a raptor. The ornamentation included bosses on the surface of different sizes, including two large bosses with "eyes" as well as eyebrows. A row of protrusions along the lower rim ended with an S-shaped (or swan) ornament, thus reminiscent of ships with two sterns. ( Vogelsonnenbarken ). The horns of the helmet are also S-shaped, with a twist resembling both bull's horns and the twist of a pair of lurs . The armature between the horns and the comb held bird feathers, and it has been suggested that the comb was originally decorated with hair. The helmet has a human appearance combined with selected zoomorphic elements.

In general, elements of both Urnfieldian and Scandinavian culture are used in the design, although some elements such as bullhorns are found elsewhere, such as Iberia and Sardinia, and horned helmets can also be seen in contemporary descriptions of sea peoples in the Mediterranean and nearby regions. East.

Vandkilde states that the helmet is believed to have been made in Scandinavia using European bronzeworking techniques, although others suggest that the helmet was imported from Italy. The shape of the horns points to the Italian long-horned cattle, a subtype of the Bos primigenius (bison) species.

"Double" helmets have been found - in some interpretations of Bronze Age beliefs the sun can be represented by "twin gods". Other interpretations give significance as helmets represent weapons or war, or have some connection with the Proto-Indo-European religious myth of the Divine Twins . Alternatively, helmets have been interpreted as a family heirloom or perhaps conferred some status or importance when worn. Ritual use was also suggested, either a transfer of powers or a connection with the animal or divine world.

The discovered position (i.e., in a swamp or former body of water) also places the final use of the helmets in the class of vow offerings.

Horned twin figures from a similar period and region are known - these included bronze figures wearing horned helmets found at Grevensvensvång (figures from Grevensvång) and horned twins in a horse yoke found at Fogdarp . Kindred images with horns have also been found on razors (Razor Westrup) and rock paintings from a similar place/period.