Historical knowledge

Woman wearing a fur or feather cape

The gold-foil figure measures just 1.5 cm in height and is made of thin gold-foil. The woman is depicted in an elaborate costume. It consists of a dress with vertical stripes and a zigzag border at the bottom. It is possible that the dress is a representation of a pleated fabric. Over the dress can be seen a cape with irregular stripes, probably an indication of fur or feathers.

The Nordic goddess of fertility, Freja, owned a feathered pelt, which enabled her to take the shape of a bird and fly between the worlds of the gods and of humans. The gold-foil figure perhaps shows Freja in her magical feathered cape.

Fur capes were common outer garments in the Iron Age and could be made from both domesticated and wild animals.

The gold-foil figure was found on the island of Bornholm. It is dated to the 6th century AD.

Share this page