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Thread: Your Favorite Historical Artifacts

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    Your Favorite Historical Artifacts

    What are some of your favorite historical artifacts? Though encouraged, it does not have to fall under the margin of Germanic, or even European, but should also fall within the timeframe of "Ancient"

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    Gundestrup Cauldron
    The Gundestrup cauldron is a richly decorated silver vessel, thought to date between 200 BC and 300 AD, placing it within the late La Tčne period or early Roman Iron Age. The cauldron is the largest known example of European Iron Age silver work (diameter: 69 cm, height: 42 cm). It was found in 1891 in a peat bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup in the Aars parish of Himmerland, Denmark. It is now housed at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen (with a replica in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.) Despite the fact that the vessel was found in Denmark, there has been a debate between a Gaulish origin and Thracian origin on account of the workmanship, metallurgy, and imagery.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundestrup_cauldron

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    Animal head-posts from Oseberg, Norway
    Dated to the 9th century CE.











    These animal head posts are examples of excellence in Viking carving. The detail of the workmanship is extraordinary. The purpose of the animal head posts is unknown, but their fearsome aspect with open jaws suggests that they were intended to ward off evil spirits. Five of these head posts were found, all with a slot for a handle at the lower edge of the neck, indicating that perhaps they were used in some sort of procession.
    All excavated a mere 2 kilometers from where I was born, as a part of the greater Oseberg escavation.
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    Antikythera mechanism
    The Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck. Its significance and complexity were not understood until decades later. Its time of construction is now estimated between 150 and 100 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity and workmanship did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks were built in Europe
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau visited the wreck for the last time in 1978, but found no additional remains of the Antikythera mechanism. Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University who led the most recent study of the mechanism said: "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely carefully ... in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa."

    The device is displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, accompanied by a reconstruction made and donated to the museum by Derek de Solla Price. Other reconstructions are on display at the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana, the Children's Museum of Manhattan in New York, and in Kassel, Germany.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

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    Trundholm sun chariot





    The Trundholm sun chariot (Danish: Solvognen), is a late Nordic Bronze Age artifact discovered in Denmark. It is a representation of the sun chariot, a bronze statue of a horse and a large bronze disk, which are placed on a device with spoked wheels.

    The sculpture was discovered with no accompanying objects in 1902 in a peat bog on the Trundholm moor in West Zealand County on the northwest coast of the island of Zealand (Sjęlland) in Denmark

    Date


    The sculpture is dated by the Nationalmuseet to about 1400 BC, though other dates have been suggested. Unfortunately it was found before pollen-dating was developed, which would have enabled a more confident dating.

    A model of a horse-drawn vehicle on spoked wheels in Northern Europe at such an early time is surprising; they would not be expected to appear until the end of the Late Bronze Age, which ranges from 1100 BC to 550 BC. This and aspects of the decoration may suggest a Danubian origin or influence in the object, although the Nationalmuseet is confident it is of Nordic origin.

    Possible function as a calendar

    Klaus Randsborg, professor of archeology at the University of Copenhagen, has pointed out that the sum of an addition of the number of spirals in each circle of the disk, multiplied by the number of the circles in which they are found, counted from the middle (1x1 + 2x8 + 3x20 + 4x25), results in a total of 177, which comes very close to the number of days in six synodic months, only 44 min 2.8 s shorter each.

    The synodic cycle is the time that elapses between two successive conjunctions of an object in the sky, such as a specific star, with the sun. It is the time that elapses before the object will reappear at the same point in the sky when observed from the Earth, so it is the apparent orbital period observed from Earth.

    He asserts his belief that this demonstrates that the disk was designed by a person with some measure of astronomic knowledge and that the sculpture may have functioned as a calendar.

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    Mammen axe

    The Mammen style is a phase of Scandinavian animal art during the late 10th century and the early 11th century. The style is named after finds from a chamber tomb in Mammen on Jutland, Denmark. The finds included a silver engraved axe of which one side shows a markedly stylized animal with long appendages braided along the body. There are animal representations that can have a more realistic style, like one of the lions on the Jelling stones. During this style there was an introduction of plant motifs.

    The animal ornamentation of the Viking Age is usually categorized into Oseberg style, Borre style, Jelling style, Mammen style, Ringerike style and Urnes style.





    Modern replica:






    There was also a mammen style sword in the grave, but only have a drawn reproduction of it. Can't seem to find any pictures on google about it.

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    Nebra sky disk



    The Nebra Sky Disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter, with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These are interpreted generally as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes (of uncertain meaning, variously interpreted as a Solar Barge with numerous oars, as the Milky Way or as a rainbow).

    The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and associatively dated to c. 1600 BC. It has been associated with the Bronze Age Unetice culture.

    The disk is unlike any known artistic style from the period, and had initially been suspected of being a forgery, but is now widely accepted as authentic.


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    Helmet of Ciumeşti

    One of the best known and most often reproduced pieces of Celtic art is the helmet found in a warrior chieftain's grave at Ciumeşti (now Satu Mare County, Romania). The Ciumeşti helmet is half-round with a neck protector and was hammered out of a single bronze plate with the cheek pieces bolted on afterwards. A bronze spike protrudes through the top of the helmet to which is fixed a cylinder on which a bird perches. The legs and the underpart of the head are cast while the remainder is hammered. The eyes are yellow ivory with a red enamel pupil, fastened in with bitumen. Overall the bird is 13 inches (330 mm) in length and has a wingspan of 9 inches (230 mm).

    The bird, whether raven, eagle or falcon, is a known Celtic totem. The representation of the bird of prey hovering over the Ciumeşti helmet had a profound supernatural significance since in the world of the La Tčne Celts based on the ample documentary evidence endorsing the special ritual associations of birds. Note that the Gundestrup cauldron, now in Copenhagen, also depicts a bird crest on helmets.

    Wilcox and McBride mentioned that their illustration of the iron Gallic warrior's helmet of the middle La Tene period had been reconstructed the on the basis of the Ciumesti helmet
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts_i..._Ciume.C5.9Fti

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    The helmet found at the Anglo-Saxon ship burial of Sutton Hoo always fascinated me. It's an unmatched piece of ancient craftsmanship in my opinion.
    Its outward form is evidence of the strong connections to Scandinavia at that time yet it seems to be an evolved native Anglo-Saxon form.

    Original(It was shattered into hundreds of fragments when it was found):








    Replica(The Royal Armouries did an impressive job):




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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    Gundestrup Cauldron

    The Gundestrup cauldron is a richly decorated silver vessel, thought to date between 200 BC and 300 AD, placing it within the late La Tčne period or early Roman Iron Age. The cauldron is the largest known example of European Iron Age silver work (diameter: 69 cm, height: 42 cm). It was found in 1891 in a peat bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup in the Aars parish of Himmerland, Denmark. It is now housed at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen (with a replica in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.) Despite the fact that the vessel was found in Denmark, there has been a debate between a Gaulish origin and Thracian origin on account of the workmanship, metallurgy, and imagery.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundestrup_cauldron
    Judging from its estimated age and assigned origin, I would guess the cauldron could be one of the spoils of Viking raids along the coast of what is today known as Normandy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormjaerKommando View Post
    Judging from its estimated age and assigned origin, I would guess the cauldron could be one of the spoils of Viking raids along the coast of what is today known as Normandy.
    The caudron was found in a Danish bog in the 1891. Tracian in origin, it's posited to be a kingly gift from one Tracian tribe to a Celtic one, as evidenced by the distinctly Celtic motifs, and it depends on who you ask, but the most conservative guess would be that the cauldron was taken by Teutonic tribes as war booty and then deposited as a votive sacrifice in Denmark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki
    Taylor and Bergquist have postulated that the Celtic tribe known as the Cordisci commissioned the cauldron from native Thracian silversmiths. According to classical historians, the Cimbri, a Teutonic tribe, went south from the lower Elbe region and attacked the Scordisci in 118 BC. After withstanding several defeats at the hands of the Romans, the Cimbri retreated north with the cauldron to settle in Himmerland, where the vessel was found

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