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Gundestrup Cauldron

 

Background information

The Gundestrup Cauldron is one of the most important objects ever discovered in a bog. 

Made of silver, the cauldron depicts in a series of seven raised plates various scenes that illustrate deities and, perhaps, human sacrifice. It was found in the Raeve bog in 1891 near Gundestrup, Denmark. Interestingly enough, this bog is near Borre Fen (where Borremose Man and Woman were later found).

P. V. Glob in his book The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved describes one of the inner plates (below): It "probably depicts a man being sacrificed over a cauldron. Warriors in procession on either side of the tree of life which springs from the cauldron in which the sacrificial blood is collected. The lower row of warriors are on foot, perhaps prisoners of war about to be sacrificed, but the men of the upper row are on horseback and are thought to represent the sacrificed men translated into new glory.... The vessel represented could also be regarded as a rejuvenation back, rather than a cauldron for sacrifices, but this would not conflict with the general interpretation we have just suggested."

 

 

 

Where to see the Gundestrup Cauldron

The Gundestrup Cauldron is exhibited at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.