Hoddøya the Spear: A special gift to Gods

Posted by Ms Elly on

Hoddøya the Spear: A special gift to Gods

On an old island called the Hoddøya in central Norway in 872BC: a man with quite impressive height standing in the middle of the people with his wearing bear pendant necklace. The man was seen holding the spear into the sky and worshipped and prayed for their gods and the spirits of their ancestor. The shining level of this weapon was quite remarkable. 

This might have been a kind of sacrifice to 3,000 years ago. But it was not until 1922 that the people of this day and age. It was a marsh on the fertile land. It was an accidental discovery in Namsenfjorden, Norway

Image of Viking spear

A display of Hoddøya Bronze Age spear in Coastal Museum Norveg. (Cre: Sigmund Alsaker / Coastal Museum Norveg)

The Beautiful Hoddøya

This spearhead is among the most magnificent and awesome spearheads that have been found in Northern Europe. The length of it reached 22,5inches  (58cm) and it is ornated with meander lines and concentric hemispheres. 

The Bronze Age in the North lasted from 1,000 BC to 500 BC. And the Hoddøya spear can be dated back to the Younger Bronze Age. 

We just know that the discovery of the Hoddøya was carried out by the road workers inside the Svartvartnet ("Black water"). The spear was placed in the middle of the custom stones and the flat stone on top like a kind of box. It might have been a holy sacrifice. 

Viking dead body ruester here

The marshes where the artifact was in the neck

In the belief of the people in Bronze Age, the marshes were the main door between the humans and gods. So if any of us happen to discover something precious like jewelry or weapon in the marsh, fear not they are the sacrifice to the gods and chances are that you just discover a Scandinavian artifact. 

With the awesome design of the spear, the archaeologists believed that the spear belonged to someone noble and wealthy. The one carried out the sacrifice might be the leader or the priest. Or the sacrifice was a social product for any special occasion. Though the decorations on the spear came from Baltic and Swiss regions, such type of spear was believed to be produced locally. The relationship between Nordic people in the Bronze Age and the people from east went on very well 1,300 years prior to the appearance of Hoddøya. So their source to the material and the technical skills and knowledge to create such elaborate jewelry and weapon were not something uncommon. 

Being stored in the NTNU University Museum in Trondheim, the less known clay stone mould was found in Norway. This could answer that the Nordic people created the spearhead themselves. 

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