Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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“Oath Rings” Unearthed in Denmark

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

(Museum Vestsjælland)BOESLUNDE, DENMARK—Earlier this year, two men, Hans Henrick Hansen and his nephew Christian Albertsen, found four wrist-sized rings in a plowed field where six similar rings have been recovered in the past. Dubbed “oath rings,” after the practice of taking oaths by a gold or silver ring soaked with sacrificial blood in the Icelandic sagas, the early Bronze Age rings feature hemispherical tips that are decorated and hollow. The four newly-found rings show signs of heavy wear, and so were probably not new when they were deposited. The rings are thought to have been worn by men.