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Archaeologists discover 35 gold foils featuring Norse gods and goddesses in Norway

Archaeologists found 35 gold foils at a pagan temple site showcasing the devotion people of that age had towards their faith.

Archaeologists discover 35 gold foils featuring Norse gods and goddesses in Norway
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Nicolai Eckhoff

History is always interesting to look back on, as it reveals so many facets of the ancient world and our forefathers. The kind of life led by our ancestors stands apart for a variety of reasons. They had grandeur but at the same time were also connected to their roots. This duality often gets captured beautifully in the artifacts they've left behind. In the recent discovery of gold foil figures in Norway, our forefathers' faith has been depicted beautifully, reports CBS News. The gold foil figures are of Norse gods that were worshipped by people in those times. The manner in which they are crafted showcases the magnificence people attached to those figures.

Loki and Siguna, 1810. Creator: CW Eckersberg. (Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)
Loki and Siguna, 1810. Creator: CW Eckersberg. Image source: Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images

On being asked about Norse Gods, most people today, courtesy of Marvel, will respond with Thor and Loki. But there is so much more to their mythology, than only these two gods. Some of the famous gods of this mythology include Odin, Frigg, Vidar, Vali, Hermond and Hel, according to Life in Norway. Prior to the 19th century, their legacy was more or less limited to Scandinavia and Iceland. These figures garnered a lot of popularity all across the world after they began to appear in science fiction and fantasy literature.



 

The discovery of a dozen gold foil figures is the third major finding in the country in recent times. Last month a family trying to search for their missing earring with a metal detector, stumbled upon artifacts from the Viking era and during the summer, a man found nine pendants, three rings and 10 gold pearls while rummaging with a metal detector. The Museum of Cultural History in Oslo announced in September that archaeologists had unearthed 35 gold pieces depicting Norse gods at Vingrom. It has been speculated that at this site a Pagan temple was situated which would verify that these gold figures might have been made for the purpose of worship. Through analysis it has been concluded that the figures are 1400 years old and were created in the Merovingian period. The period is named after the dynasty that ruled France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Low Countries during those times.



 

The figures are of Frøy and Gerd, known as the god and goddess of fertility in Norse mythology. Science Norway shared how in such temples people came and made sacrifices in order to fulfill their wishes. This implies that worshipping was as important in those times as it is today. People invested a lot of gold in gods for the purpose of faith. This showcases that despite the riches they might have accumulated, their belief in gods held a lot of value.

Kathrine Stene, who supervised the excavation, is proud of the work done by her team. The archaeologist further added how the locations in which the figures were found are beneficial. Three gold foils were found at places where the wall of the temple was present, while two were located in post holes that once held support beams. In their opinion, such locations clearly point towards the fact that the gold foils were found in their original placements. She shared with Live Science, "It's extra special that we can link the gold foil figures to the various parts of the building's construction."



 

The temple was discovered in 1993 and at that time archaeologists were able to find two gold foils in it. Ingunn Marit Røstad, an archaeologist at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, in her interview with Science Norway, expressed hope that more gold foils will be found on the site. "More of these small pieces of gold keep appearing, either through excavation or with metal detectors. So, more could pop up in various places in Norway as well," she said.

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