Monday, 4 March 2013

Flight of the valkyrie: the Viking figurine that's heading for Britain

Four views of the valkyrie, the only 3D depiction from the Viking era known to exist 
Photograph: Asger Kjærgaard/Odense Bys Museer

Thumb-sized figurine discovered in Denmark by amateur archaeologist is the only 3D representation of a valkyrie ever found – and will arrive at British Museum in 2014

A little face peering up from a clod of frozen mud in Denmark has proved to be a unique find: the only known 3D Viking representation of a valkyrie.
The figurine, believed to date from about AD800, was found in December and has gone straight from conservation to display in the National Museum in Copenhagen. It will then be included in the exhibition on the Viking age that opens there in June and at the British Museum in 2014.
The legends of the valkyries – the ominous companions of the god Odin who descend on battlefields to choose which warriors will die – have been among the most enduring in Scandinavian folklore and literature. Later images, often inspired by Wagner's music, tend to be romantic creatures with flowing locks and voluptuous bodies.

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