Military Review

The Riddle of the Horns of Gallehus

As you know, the land of Denmark in the literal sense of the word "crammed" with ancient artifacts, and among them many of the most real treasures. But the two golden "horns of Gallehus", however, is not impossible to distinguish among all this wealth. But to compare ... you can only compare them only with the Danish “boiler from Gundestrup”, because this boiler and the horns are all covered with images of human and animal figures and, of course, are objects of worship. On one of the horns there are runes of the beginning of the 5th century, which can be translated as: “I, Khlevagast from Holt, (or - the son of Holt) made a horn”. That is, this is a local, not imported product.

The first horn was found in the 1679 year, and the second, not far from the place where they found the first one, only in 1734 in North Schleswig, near the village of Gallehus. Obviously, these horns form a pair, although they found them separately. Replacing many owners, they fell into the collection of antiquities belonging to the Danish crown and located in Copenhagen. It is clear that in the academic world their discovery caused a real sensation, because they could be studied, described and built up the most sophisticated theories. It is amusing that, despite the obvious value, these horns were used for their intended purpose: the most honored visitors in one of them were served Rhine wine. But in 1802, a thief named Niels Heidenreich managed to steal them. And then he melted both horns and made jewelry from them. So when scientists conceived to restore these horns, they had to be guided by their descriptions and sketches made by their predecessors in the 18th century. However, those horns that are on display at the National Museum of Copenhagen today are really golden, and all those images that were on ancient horns were reproduced with maximum accuracy. However, the number of times these horns were stolen and restored is unknown. They talk about it in different ways, including museum guides ...

The Riddle of the Horns of Gallehus

Here they are, the golden "horns of Gallehus." A fine example of ancient craftsmanship.

Later Nils told a lot of interesting things about the horns, which left not only a bad memory, but also a good one. According to him, both horns were made of high-gold leaf, and sealed with wide rings, made of an alloy of gold and silver. They were covered with images of human figures and various animals, birds, fish, stars and ornaments. The latter, most likely, did not carry the semantic load and served as an ordinary decoration. But some relief images had a definite meaning, but of course, the thief could not say what. What could mean, for example, a man with three heads? However, there was no shortage of attempts to interpret the images on the horns.

"Horn of Hallehus" in the exposition of the National Museum in Copenhagen.

Some saw in them the characters of Scandinavian mythology, someone believed that they were made in the Celtic traditions, or that it was ... acrobats and dancers whom the creator of horns saw at the Byzantine hippodrome. At the same time, each new researcher added something from himself, but to a single point of view as to what the horns depict is not present to this day!

One horn is longer, the other is shorter.

Again with what you can compare them? But again with the "boiler from Gundestrup". What if both the cauldron and the horns were involved in some ancient ritual, and most likely it was so. The fact that they drank from the horns is undoubtedly. But what? Wine, water, beer, blood, milk? I.e история Unfortunately, we have not left evidence of their practical use.

They are difficult to photograph, firstly, because they are behind glass, and secondly, because the images on them are very small.

The images on the lost horn from Gallehusa without runes.

However, if we look at the figure of a long-haired person in the second row from the top, we will see that he is holding a drinking horn. Next to him is some animal, most likely a horse, lying on the ground (since this figure is located at an angle to the other figures). Nearby is a man with a bow and aims at this animal. Next, we see a man with spears in both hands, directed tips down. Another man riding a horse. There is an assumption that if we consider these figures in the following sequence: a horseman, a man with spears, an archer, a man holding a horn, then why not imagine that we are shown the scene of sacrifice?

On the horn without runes, we see a duel between two people, whose faces cover animal masks. Next to them is a centaur. It is possible that these are various rites associated with ... what? This is not something to say. We can only guess about this and the most evidential suggestion may turn out to be erroneous and vice versa - the most unproven - true.

Two naked men with swords and shields on a short horn. Who are they? Berserkers, dancers, gods? Unknown!

The rune horn bears similar scenes. But here there is a three-headed giant with a goat, which is not on the horn without runes. And again, who does this character portray, with what rites and beliefs is he connected, to which culture does he belong?

A figure with horns and a sickle, depicted on a shorter horn.

In the upper part of the horns with runes there are two people, naked or dressed in loincloths. Pay attention to their helmets with curved horns, common in Denmark in the Bronze Age. In any case, they look like the famous "helmets from Vimoze." One holds a sickle and a rod, and the other a short spear, a ring and a rod. Further here we see warriors with swords and shields and, quite possibly, they are also dancing. But for some reason there is also a horse or a deer with moonlike curved horns.

Many scientists tried to prove that the men depicted on the horns are gods, and even identified these dancing characters with Tivaz, Wodan or Freyr. The three-headed giant with a goat, in their opinion, was Thor, they saw Ulla in the archer. But it is quite possible that not gods are depicted here, but ordinary people. So in the helmets with horns, too, people, or, more specifically, the priests. Well, and the warriors with swords and shields, most likely, the priests of the god of war.

The images on the lost golden horn without runes. According to the picture made in 1734

Images on a lost golden horn with runes from Hallehus, Denmark. According to the picture made in 1734

Interestingly, the images of people with spears in their hands and wearing horned helmets are found on the plates that adorn the famous Sutton Hoo helmet, and the same plates were found among the so-called “Wandel helmets” of the 7th century. It is possible that these images are somehow related to the twin gods described by the Roman historian Tacitus, sons of the sky god. Tacitus also reports that they patronized travelers. Well, a man with a sickle and a spear in his hands could be at the same time the god of the sky, and one of his priests - who knows what he was trying to convey with his images an ancient chaser.

The images are often completely incomprehensible ....

Figures of the goddess of fertility are not here, but there are symbols - a ring and a snake, which can symbolize the fertility deity ... a man whose image is on the "boiler from Gundestrup".

Stars and above, and ... below. Why?

The figurine of a sacrificed horse is associated with a rite that came from India, that is, it may be associated with the Aryan culture of the tribes who came to Europe from the East. In Scandinavia, such sacrifices could be carried out by warriors who asked the gods for victory over the enemy and gave them the most valuable thing they had - fighting horses! Before that, bulls were sacrificed in the previous period of its history.

Sacrifice of a horse and three-headed giant with a goat.

In Denmark, apparently, there was also the custom of horse sacrifice. For example, on the island of Bornholm, during the excavations of one of the houses of the era of the Great Migration in Sorta Mulde, a clear horse sacrifice was found. Why sacrifice? Because the bones of the animal were not gnawed by dogs. Horse skulls and bones were found in the peat bog in Rislev (Zeeland) and in many other places. In any case, the images of a person next to a horse on a "boiler from Gundestrup", and a rider on "horns from Gallehus" clearly indicate the high role of the horse in the society of the ancient Danes.

Here it is - "boiler from Gundestrup"

And this is one of the figures depicted on it. On the head are deer horns, in the hands of a snake and a ring - symbols of engagement with nature or power over it?

In general, so far all attempts to explain the storyline of the images on the "horns from Gallehus" did not really come to anything, just as the comparison of these finds with the "Gundestrup" boiler. They are beautiful, they are pleasing to the eye, they tell us about the original and ancient culture of that time, the skill of those who made all this, the complex rituals and beliefs of those who used them, but no more. Treasures keep their secrets, as well as three hundred years ago.
21 comment

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  1. Albatroz
    Albatroz 6 October 2018 07: 17
    A real treasure, both beautifully and functionally and informatively
    In a word - great)
    1. Vend
      Vend 8 October 2018 10: 09
      Quote: Albatroz
      A real treasure, both beautifully and functionally and informatively
      In a word - great)

      But where did high-grade gold come from?
  2. Mikhail Matyugin
    Mikhail Matyugin 6 October 2018 07: 33
    Thanks for the beautiful stuff!

    Quote: Vyacheslav Shpakovsky
    Obviously, these horns form a pair, although they were found separately.
    Actually, it’s not at all obvious (different length, different design, on one runic inscription - on the other there is no, etc.). It’s just that both horns found are made in the same tradition, possibly for the same cult, and can be the same master (or, at least, students of the same workshop).

    Quote: Vyacheslav Shpakovsky
    Again, with what can they be compared? Only again with the "cauldron from the Gundestrup." What if both the cauldron and the horns were involved in some ancient ritual, but most likely it was.
    Yes, exactly, with this boiler! Although - remember that this "cauldron", according to the most probable hypothesis and chemical analysis of the silver from which it is made, is not a local product, but was brought from somewhere from Thrace or the Danube Celtic territories, if not from Asia Minor Galatia at all ...

    Quote: Vyacheslav Shpakovsky
    The figurine of the sacrificed horse is connected with the rite that came from India, that is, it can be connected with the Aryan culture of the tribes who came to Europe from the East.
    Nothing strange, this is a common Indo-European tradition, the horse sacrifice to solar deities is known even in such ancient cultures as the Indo-Aryan and Mittanian even ...

    And this image, in my opinion, has an exact astronomical reference: the hunter with a bow depicted on the left is the constellation Orion, a "star hunter" in many ancient cultures; further - a giant "milk" serpent feeding other snakes with milk - this is an image of the Milky Way (very true in meaning!).
    1. Sadko88
      Sadko88 6 October 2018 07: 57
      So, right after the article, I started looking for the Scandinavian horoscope ... But not a fact. The first, however, that comes to mind when looking at images is astrology.
  3. Curious
    Curious 6 October 2018 09: 04
    Yeah, all these stories of abductions and redeployments were invented solely to hide the fact of the theft of Napoleon’s horn in Moscow.
    After all, this horn is a gift from Yaroslav Gostomysl to his grandson - the future emperor of Troyan-Rus. And the second horn - an unfinished copy of the first - to confuse historians.
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 6 October 2018 10: 45
      I'll tell you more! Initially, this horn was kept in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. And Andrei Bogolyubsky stole him for the first time, with the help of his mistress Shalava Neputyatishna, who, being a minister of this place of worship (well, you know these women who put out candles in churches with the words: "Burned out and good!") Was very kind to prominent men , especially wealthy. And Bogolyubsky, do not be imbecile, he stuck something else
      1. Curious
        Curious 6 October 2018 13: 38
        Are you hinting at the Shroud of Turin? Well, here it is clearly not without the Masters of the West.
  4. Beringovsky
    Beringovsky 6 October 2018 09: 25
    Horns, a cult of a cauldron, a horse - all this of course came from the steppe.
    Apparently, the mighty and warlike inhabitants of the steppe, crowded out by others, even more powerful and warlike, headed to the northwest. Where they subjugated the ancestors of the Scandinavians, imposing their customs on the conquered.
    I wonder who it was, maybe what is that part of the Cimmerians?
  5. Operator
    Operator 6 October 2018 10: 46
    "The figurine of a horse sacrificed is associated with a rite that came from India, that is, it may be associated with the Aryan culture of tribes who came to Europe from the East" - only Iranian-speaking northern Semites came to Europe from the east (1 millennium BC). BC) and the Turks (1st millennium AD).

    The Aryans migrated to Europe from the south from the Balkans in the 12 millennium BC, after which they settled from the Black Sea steppes to the Baltic, then part of the Aryans in the 2 millennium BC went to India (and at the same time to Central Asia, Iran and further to Manchuria), and not vice versa.
  6. Terror
    Terror 6 October 2018 19: 47
    The Riddle of the Horns of Gallehus

    The riddle is partially solved. The horoscope is depicted on a broken horn and it is successfully dated. Of course, this is not the 1th century AD. Horoscope date May 1166, XNUMX A.D. Moreover, this horoscope is Egyptian, because it depicts a solar eclipse whose strip that day passed through Egypt. Most likely the horoscope date is a kind of sacred event once this date was reproduced in such remote places (modern Denmark) from the place of observation. The golden horn itself with a horoscope could be made much later than the date depicted on it, but not earlier than the XNUMXth century AD
    What could mean, for example, a man with three heads?

    These are the 3 male planets Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. And the fact that a person with 3 heads holds on the rope of Capricorn means that these planets were in the corresponding constellation.

    2 figures located crosswise show a solar eclipse, the Moon covered the Sun, etc., fully decrypted here:
    1. kalibr
      6 October 2018 20: 50
      Quote: Terror
      Horoscope date 1 on May 1166 AD

      That is, this horn is 100 years older than the Battle of Hastings? Do not tell my slippers! This riddle is poorly solved! Obviously, Fomenko could not do without!
  7. boriz
    boriz 6 October 2018 21: 07
    I don’t know about the snake, but in the other hand there’s no ring, the usual hryvnia, like ours. He has the same on his neck. Equivalent to a large sum of money. If necessary, pieces were cut off from this hryvnia (silver or gold) and paid. Hence the ruble.
  8. boriz
    boriz 6 October 2018 21: 16
    "... this may be due to the Aryan culture of the tribes who came to Europe from the East."
    Everything is upside down. The author needs to follow the latest achievements of science. DNA genealogy has long been sorted out. The Aryan community (along with customs and language, Sanskrit) was formed on the territory of the present south of the European part of Russia and then spread to the west, and the east.
    1. Mikhail Matyugin
      Mikhail Matyugin 6 October 2018 22: 42
      Quote: boriz
      The Aryan community (along with customs and language, Sanskrit) was formed on the territory of the present south of the European part of Russia and then spread to the west, and the east.

      Reliably no one knows this. In general, the north of Ancient Mesopotamia (both genetically and on the map of languages) is most suitable for the ancestral home of the Indo-Europeans, from where they made a two-way voyage through Central Asia to the South Urals and through the Bosporus to the Balkans, and from there they began to settle.
    2. Operator
      Operator 7 October 2018 13: 38
      The Aryan community formed 24000 years ago in Altai, after 12000 years it reached the Balkans, from where it spread west to Central Europe, north to the Karelian Isthmus and east to the Dnieper (including the Black Sea steppes).

      5000 years ago, the Aryans domesticated a horse, invented a wheel and chariots. 4000 years ago, part of the Black Sea Aryans migrated to the east (Urals, Central Asia, Iran, India, North China) and the south (Asia Minor, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula). 3500 years ago, another part of the Black Sea Aryans migrated to Western Europe (Hallstatt and to the British Isles). 3000 years ago, part of the Carpathian Aryans migrated to the South (to the Apennine Peninsula), Central (to the Sudetenland) and Northern Europe (to the Jutland Peninsula).

      In our era, East European Aryans migrated to Asia to the Pacific Ocean.
  9. Waldemar
    Waldemar 6 October 2018 21: 17
    Is it not obvious that the ancient zodiac with constellations and the like depicted as figures?
    1. Mikhail Matyugin
      Mikhail Matyugin 6 October 2018 22: 40
      Quote: Valdemar
      Is it not obvious that the ancient zodiac with constellations and the like depicted as figures?

      No, not visible. Just individual astronomical elements are shown, but the overall plot is different.
  10. Gato
    Gato 7 October 2018 10: 45
    But if you delve into the environs of Tortuga and Santo Domingo, then you still can’t find it there. The Spaniards robbed a whole continent, and not one decade. Then they robbed the Spaniards. And how are other Normans given and different from pirates?
  11. 1000 pesos
    1000 pesos 7 October 2018 18: 16
    I am certainly not an expert, but some Celtic motives: a horned deity in particular, and a three-headed one, remember the English fairy tale "Jack the Winner of the Giants"
    1. Mikhail Matyugin
      Mikhail Matyugin 8 October 2018 22: 17
      I looked again at the horns.
      1. My previous point of view is confirmed that a horn without runes - and a horn with runes - they do not constitute a single "headset", this is not a set; these are simply works of, if not one master, then one art school of masters.

      2. This is also confirmed by the fact that absolutely different compositions on the horns. On the "horn with runes" there are drawings of a clearly astronomical or astrological-mythical character. On the "horn without runes" there is a Scandinavian-Germanic or, possibly, Celtic "system of worlds" clearly.

      It's simple. The upper ring is the "upper world", the world of "heavens", demigods and gods, probably with a variant of hieroglyphic writing (therefore there are no runes on the horn - here the inscription is made in a different system of signs).

      The ring of pictures just below is the "world of people". This is evidenced by the images of a hunter, a fisherman, a horseman and a woman with a drinking horn.

      Even lower - this is the world of half-demons or strange creatures, a kind of "world of subtle penetration into ours" - obviously wolf lags, some kind of ghost, a centaur, probably an image of a human sacrifice, etc.

      Even lower - the world of "demons of the End of the World", this is evidenced by the images of the great serpent Ermungand, the wolf Fenrir and other chthonic monsters, which should go out before Ragnarok.

      Almost at the very bottom - perhaps "Muspelheim", where the great Dragon gnaws at the roots of the World Tree - the ash of Yggdrasil, and a certain scene takes place such as the creation of people or the creation of the System of Worlds as a whole ...

      So the horns are completely different, although both have an obvious magical purpose, only for different, so to speak, spheres of application - one is for "knowing the essence of the true heavens", and the second for "traveling through the system of worlds" (something like shamanic apparently "travels" ).
  12. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 9 October 2018 17: 05
    Nonsense. There are no horns because they were melted. Now they are "recreated from the drawings". That is, these are fantasies about horns that once existed. There is nothing to study here, according to the level of reliability ... are there a lot of aliens on them? And the mysterious writing nowhere adds up to "made in China"?