Viking Dragon Head Pin Discovery Explained Mystery

Many Viking excavations seemed to be first uncovered by the hands of farmers. In 1887, a farmer found a Viking dragon head mold. It had the shape of the one with a horn (?) and the mane in the back neck. The farmer didn’t know what it was in that time because he couldn’t find anything made from the mold. But what the farmer failed to do was accomplished by the archaeologists. Indeed, the modern archaeologists found Viking Dragon Head Pin that could explain the mystery of the farmer.

Image of Viking dragon head pin dragon head mold
The dragon head mold found by a farmer in 1887. It is now preserved in The Swedish History Museum

Farmer’s question explained

In 2015, a team of archaeologists happened to find a tiny Viking dragonhead in Birka a famous Viking site for archaeology. The small piece of metal looked exactly like the mold the farmer once found. The excavation of the Viking dragon head pin “blew our minds” according to study senior researcher Sven Kalmring.

The dragonhead was very small, around 1.6 inches (~4.2 cm). Small as it might be, it was very detailed. The dragon had small teeth and its tongue was sticking out. It was much like a snarling animal. Such a detailed object cannot have been a toy for the Viking children of the time. It might have been an ornamental head to a clothes pin. The Vikings seemed to choose lead. Because two reasons: it could melt from the lower point and it looked the most like silver which was rare in the ancient time.

Image of Viking dragon head pin artifact
Dragon head pin found by the archaeologists in 2015

Other places of the Viking archaeological hot spots like the Viking town of Hedeby also witnessed the discovery of dragonhead pin. But most of them were in bronze.

The map shows where the archaeologists found the pins, molds, figureheads. Different places will have different designs of the dragonhead. (Cre: Livesciene)

And if you have been doing some research on the Vikings, the image of the dragon-like head isn’t something strange to you. It appears in many Viking ships, for example the drekar or the Viking dragon ship. In the excavation of the Oseberg ship, archaeologists also found four dragon heads buried in the Oseberg burial mound. The head of the Viking Ladby Ship resembled to the dragonhead pin found in 2015 the most.

See more: What Inside Oseberg Excavation

Image of Ladby ship excavation
The excavation of Ladby ship

Mysteries remain

Other voices raised the opinions that the farmer’s mold isn’t exactly the form of newly found pin. However, both of the excavations indicated that the Vikings created molds and pins. One thing that many people agree is that the pins were for the noble and wealthy people.

But because none of the pins are yet to be found in the grave sites, there is a mystery covering. Nonetheless, the excavations can indicate that the Birka was among the most important trading center around the Baltic in the Viking age.

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