The lurs of the Bronze Age
What is a lur? A lur or lur horn is a wind instrument cast in bronze dating to the Late Bronze Age (c. 1000 BC).
Most of these lurs have come from Denmark, where a total of 39 have been found. Sweden, Norway and northern Germany too have produced examples. The curving shape of the tubes recalls ox horns, on which the lurs may have been modelled. In Denmark the lurs are usually found in pairs and always in bog deposits.
The name ‘lur’ is of recent date. It was used by archaeologists at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Originally it comes from the Icelandic sagas, which say that ‘the warriors were summoned to battle with the lur’. The design and size of the lurs vary. Thanks to this variation we can trace the development of the lur over time.