Torslunda Plates: Artifacts of Norse Mythology Scenes
Artifacts dating back to the Viking Age could depict not only the daily life of the Vikings but also their Pagan belief. The Torslunda Plates are among the artifacts vividly depicting Norse pagan belief. But what do the Torslunda plates depict actually?
In 1890, Erik Gustaf Pettersson and Anders Petter Nilsson discovered four plates on Torslunda parish on the Swedish island. The plates were cast with bronze and depicted something on the surface. It remains a mystery where the artifacts were found, whether from a workshop where the traders gathered for business or from the burial mound of a warrior or a craftsman.
Four plates were found at one time, at one place, and under the similar soil conditions.
The most famous plate was the one depicting a warrior with a bird helmet. The bird or the horned helmet evoked debates among scholars. Many scholars believed that the warrior with the bird helmet was actually Odin and the follower was a berserker.
Dancing warrior with horned helmet
In Norse mythology, Odin had a pair of ravens who became the symbol of Odin the Allfather. The following was the berserker who was a Viking warrior wearing animal skin or armourless to join the battle. According to legend, the berserkers were dedicated pagans who worshipped Odin and desired to die in battle and get transcended to Valhalla.
Another plate showed a man fighting with two bears or beasts.
A fighting scene was also depicted on the plate. It showed a man with a chain against a beast. Many scholars claimed that it was the fighting scene between God Tyr and the wolf Fenrir in the Binding of Wolf Fenrir in Norse mythology.
The last plate showing two warriors holding spears upside down. Both of them wore the helmet with a boar upon. The boar in the Viking belief was the symbol of fertility. Because it was the animal of Freyr God of Fertility and Summer who came from the Vanir god tribe.