24 Bronze Age axes found in farmer's field in Norway
Some 3,000 years ago, 24 axes were cached in Stjørdal municipality, about 44 km east of Trondheim. They're now seeing the light of day once again.
|One of the axeheads after it was dug up [Credit: Eirik Solheim]|
Archaeologists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) University Museum and Nord-Trøndelag County Council unearthed the findings with the help of with six private metal detector hobbyists from the area.
Found with metal detectors
Brothers Joakim and Jørgen Korstad from Stjørdal municipality made the first discoveries on this field in January this year. They found nine socketed axes (also called Celts), a spearhead, a casting mould, and a fragment of a possible bronze lur.
|Hegra Hoard on display for the press at NTNU [Credit: Terje Svaan]|
"The 24 axes are a particularly special part of this discovery. There have never been so many axes in a single deposit before in Norway, and they're rare in the Scandinavian context," says archaeologist and researcher Merete Moe Henriksen in NTNU's Department of Archaeology and Cultural History.
Hidden or sacrificed?
Archaeologists call this kind of find a hoard, when they uncover objects that have been hidden away or buried in the ground. It is still too early to say why the axes and other objects were buried 3000 years ago.
|X-ray of Hegra axes shows metal elements inside them [Credit: NTNU]|
Stjørdal municipality is one of the areas in central Norway that has a concentration of ancient rock art and rock carvings. Solheim has wished for a museum to showcase the rock art of the area.
|Detail of cleaned axeheads and spearhead [Credit: Terje Svaan]|
Archaeologists hope to get in one more excavation of the Hegra field this fall. This would help them to better understand the context of the findings, which would hopefully reveal more about why the objects were cached.
Author: Nina Tveter | Source: The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) [May 02, 2017]