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Gilded horse mounts of Viking confidant of the king found in Denmark

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Gilded bronze and silver-plated mounts from a horse bridle have been discovered in the town of Hørning near Skanderborg in Jutland, Denmark along with the remains of a Viking to whom these artifacts belonged to.
The find consists of two cross-shaped fittings and a rectangular buckle.  They are now on display at the Museum of Skaderborg.


Merethe Schifter Bagge, a project manager and archaeologist at the museum said the artifacts are exquisite and so rare that it is considered among some of the greatest archaeological discoveries in Danish history. It dates back to 950 AD which could mean the Viking who owned them could have been a confidant of the king and it is believed to be a gift of alliance from the king. This type of bridle was only available to the most powerful people in the Viking Age

The Museum of Skanderborg archaeologists has secured funding for a full excavation of the area including a huge grave complex, which is unusually large for the time period.

Archaeologists hope to gai…

Talisman for warding off evil spirits in Middle Ages found in Norfolk

St.Anthony.
A  silver gilt cross with size 14mm by 12mm (0.5in by 0.4in) from the 15th Century was recently found by a metal detectorist near Wramplingham in Norfolk.

During the Middle Ages, a feared disease named  St Anthony's Fire, affecting both humans and livestock, which caused dreadful symptoms developed in Europe and soon became widespread.
It was initially believed to be the cause of bewitchment, therefore supersticious people would wear a talisman in the form of a cross in an attempt to ward off the evil spirits.

Norfolk's finds liaison officer for the county's Historic Environment Service, Julie Shoemark said that the symptoms were, amongst others, mania, convulsions, skin lesions and in the progressive stage, gangrene.

The name St.Anthony's Fire came about after the disease broke out in France and hospitals were specially erected to treat victims. Gaston de la Valloire a nobleman of the Dauphiné, was the founder of these hospitals and dedicated them to Saint Anthony (c.251-356) who was one of the earliest monks and considered the founder and father of organized Christian monasticism, who's rule represented one of the first attempts to codify guidelines for monastic living.  Monks from the Order of St.Anthony treated people infected with the disease in those hospitals.

The word "fire" refers to the burning sensations people experienced during the gangrenous stage of the disease.

 It was not until 1670 that a French physician, Dr. Thuillier discovered the cause after realizing it was not contagious. It was caused by a fungus infection in Rye named Ergot and spread to humans through consumption.

Rye bread was very popular during that time amongst poor and middle class people.  The name of the disease was changed to Ergotism.

The latest outbreak of Ergotism has been reported in 1951, in a French village called Pont Saint Esprit.  About 1 in 20 people in the village of 4000 contracted the disease, as the cause is known, it was possible to halt it's progression.

The medieval cross was declared a treasure and Norwich Castle Museum hopes to buy it for display.



 
                       

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