Experts from the Kulturmiljö Halland Cultural History Museum have made a fantastic discovery in Ysby, a locality in Laholm, Halland County, Sweden.
They found a well-preserved Thor's hammer amulet during preliminary investigations before the construction of new homes.
As the Kulturmiljö Halland museum states, the find is unique in Halland County, as an amulet of Thor's hammer of this type has never been found in the area before.
READ MORE: The Viking history of Sweden at a glance
The find probably dates to the 9th-11th century, that is, the late Viking Age, and appears to be made of lead.
After the artifact is cleaned and preserved, experts will be able to tell whether the small hammer was previously covered in gold or silver.
Thor's hammer in Norse mythology
The hammer was a symbol of the god Thor who, according to Norse mythology, wielded a hammer called Mjölnir as a weapon.
The hammer that researchers found in Ysby was probably worn as an amulet or a piece of jewelry.
"You can see a hole in the shaft where it may have been attached to a ring or strap. Several similar amulets have previously been found in Scandinavia, but this one is thus far the only one of its kind in Halland," the Kulturmiljö Halland museum states on its website.
Experts say the find is one of a kind. Photo: Kulturmiljö Halland Cultural History Museum
Experts think the hammer might have ended up at Ysby during a period of religious transition when the area began to become Christian.
One theory is that these ornate Thor's hammer artifacts were a clear marker of those who still worshiped the Norse gods when Christianity began to take root in Scandinavia.
Other discoveries at the site
During the investigation at Ysby, archaeologists also discovered flint chips, ceramics, and a metal fitting that could be from the Viking Age or the early Middle Ages.
They also identified remains of pits, holes, and hearths. None of these facilities have yet been dated, but the finds and the shape of some of the hearths possibly suggest a Viking Age date.
Around the survey area, during previous archaeological surveys, settlements have been found from the Stone and Iron Ages, as well as finds from other periods, including the Viking Age.
In 2018, nearby to the site where the amulet was discovered, archaeologists found a longhouse from the older Iron Age.
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