Some of the golden bowls have handles attached. The handles are made of bronze bars wound with gold thread that end in horsehead figures. These horses’ heads are of the same type as one can find on the razors of the Bronze Age – although on the razors they are smaller. The design of the horses’ heads is in the Nordic style. Thanks to stylistic dating we can establish that the handles were made in the period around 1000 BC. When the gold bowls were furnished with handles they could be used as ladles. The horse motif appears around 1500 BC and after that it is widely used. The horse played an important role in the Bronze Age religion – perhaps that is why the horse motif was chosen for the handles of the bowls? Another possibility is that the handles were meant to be seen as the horsehead prow of a ship.
Horsehead handle on one of the golden bowls from Mariesminde Mose on Funen.