Gudum Man

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: Gudum north of Slagelse is one of five place-names in Denmark that derive from the compound Gudhem, meaning ‘home of the gods’. The name indicates that the site might contain traces of a pre-Christian sanctuary, resembling the rich Iron Age settlement at Gudme on Funen. At the conference “The Gudme/Gudhem Phenomenon” in Schleswig in 2010, the topographical and archaeological sources from Gudum were analysed. The then available archaeological evidence gave no indications that Gudum on Zealand comprised a ‘home of the Gods’. A few years later, the fields surrounding Gudum Church were subjected to comprehensive detector surveys, uncovering several hundred bronze, silver and gilded artefacts from the Late Iron and Viking Age. These finds reflect activities at a rich settlement and production site and thereby shed new light on the character of the site. Among the finds is an anthropomorphic figure, 9 cm high, found as two fragments c. 25 m apart. It is shown en face with a round head and a parted hair-style, large eyes, chubby cheeks and an open mouth with protruding tongue. It wears a neck ring and what appears to be clothing, with sleeves and trousers marked. The hands are placed on the abdomen. There are no traces of legs. Parallels date the figure to the Migration Period. There are no traces of soldering or other fastening techniques. It is proposed that the figure may have adorned a baldric, though other uses can be discussed too. An interpretation as Odin/Woden is worth consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHvanndalir - Beiträge zur europäischen Altertumskunde und mediävistischen Literaturwissenschaft : Festschrift für Wilhelm Heizmann
EditorsAlessia Bauer, Alexandra Pesch
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationBerlin/Boston
PublisherWalter de Gruyter
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-056284-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-056917-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesReallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Ergaenzungsbaende


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