Wodan's mythical birds: Symbolic language on a small-long brooch of the Domburg type from Heiloo (prov. North-Holland / NL)

Johan Nicolay, R.A. van Eerden

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Abstract

This detailed study of a small-long brooch of the Domburg type, found in 2012 in a Merovingian-period rural settlement at Heiloo, explains how the shape and decoration of a simple female ornament in the 6th and 7th centuries expressed a very specific symbolic language. When the brooch’s iconography is compared with that of other brooches in the southern North Sea area and Scandinavia, and its message is reconstructed with the help of the Old Norse literature, it becomes clear that the symbolism of »a man between animals« refers to a Germanic god with similar qualities and characteristics as the Scandinavian Odin. The brooch probably is showing Wodan, both flanked by his mythical birds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-134
Number of pages24
JournalArchäologisches Korrespondenzblatt
Volume51
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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