All posts tagged: Sweden

Guldgubbers found in Sweden

Featured Image: Gold foil from the Aska mound (Wikipedia | Bjorn Falkevik | Public Domain). If you travel up north along lake Vattern, you may pass the hamlet of Hagebyhöga near Aska. Already in 2014, the archaeologist suspected the mound there might be an important site. Excavations finally took place in the summer of 2020. And indeed, they revealed a large hall from the seventh century. The hall stood on top of the mound until the ninth century, until they took it down with care, and very neatly. About 22 gold foil figures are among the discovered objects on the Aska mound. These are called ‘guldgubber’ (in Swedish) or little old man of gold. These small foils show up all around Scandinavia around the start of the Viking Age. Often, they pop up in post holes of chieftain’s halls. The foils from the Aska mound show a relief of an embracing couple. Whether they represent a god and goddess, or an elite couple who lived in the hall, is unclear as is the purpose of …

Birds of a feather

The boat burials of Valsgärde, Sweden, might be slightly before the Viking Age. But you’ll see them mentioned a lot in various articles on this site. A recent study reveals that the warriors in these burials were resting on feather beds. Read more: Birgitta Berglund and Jørgen Rosvold, ‘Microscopic identification of feathers from 7th century boat burials at Valsgärde in Central Sweden: Specialized long-distance feather trade or local bird use?’ in: Journal of Archeaological Science: Reports (Volume 36, 2021).