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Archeologists Have Found 2,000 Ancient Golden Spirals and They Have No Idea What They Are

The meaning or purpose behind the spirals is unclear, but they probably were part of a ritual

A treasure trove of tiny gold spirals from Boeslunde, Denmark (Morten Petersen, Museum Vestsjælland)
smithsonian.com

A field near the Danish town of Boeslunde on the island of Zealand just yielded a unexpected crop. An excavation revealed 2,000 delicate curlicues of gold, pounded thin and together weighing about about a half a pound (seven to ten ounces). Archeologists don’t know what the spirals’ purpose was, writes Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Each spiral is roughly an inch long and about as thin as the diameter of a human hair. The enigmatic objects date back to the Bronze Age, which lasted from 700 to 900 B.C., report experts including curator Flemming Kaul with the National Museum of Denmark. 

"Maybe the spirals have been attached to cords which have served as a small fringe on a hat or a parasol," he says in a press release. "Perhaps they have been braided into the hair or been embroidered on the suit. The fact is that we do not know, but I tend to believe they were part of a priest king’s costume or headwear." 

A few years ago, two amateur archaeologists used metal detectors to find four large, heavy gold rings in the same field. Since then, archeologists have been investigating the size for more Bronze Age artifacts. 

The archeologists found the gold spirals in "one big lump" and found the remains of a wooden box lined with fur around them. They suspect that the site held ritual significance and that ancient people used it to sacrifice treasures to higher powers. 

The gold spirals are similar to those found at two other sites, writes the author of The History Blog. A curl of gold was unearthed as part of a hoard in Germany and bronze spirals accompanied jewelry found in Poland

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