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Fearsome lions

The Årslev woman had been buried with some very distinctive gold pendants. The seven pendants are almost identical, each consisting of a round lion-mask of gold.

Beneath the lion-mask, on two fine gold chains, hangs an ornamental plate of gold sheet. This is decorated with three mounted semi-precious stones – garnets. These jewels, which originally came from eastern Europe, were probably meant to be sewn flat on to the clothing. This would explain the two holes with which the masks are furnished on either side.

The buried woman was also given two beautiful brooches (fibulae). One of them is of silver, partly covered with sheet gold. The other fibula is of solid gold with inset red garnets of the same type as the pendants.

The designs of the pendants and the gold fibula are however very different. This shows that they were not produced in the same place. The gold fibula was probably cast by a local craftsman.

Fearsome lions
Three of the seven piece of jewellery shaped like lion heads and made of gold from the Årslev grave.
Fearsome lions
One of the brooches from the Årslev grave has the same type of stone as the hanging jewellery.
Fearsome lions
The other brooch from Årslev has a semicircular plate, and is made of silver with inlay of gold.
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