So you’re a metal detectorist and you find a silver figurine at storied Lejre in Denmark. It depicts a person sitting in a high seat whose posts end in two wolves’ heads. And on either arm rest sits a raven. The style is typical for about AD 900. So when you hand the thing over to the site manager, he of course exclaims, “Holy shit! It’s Odin!”. And that’s what he tells the press.
Until somebody like me comes along and points out that it’s a woman.
She’s wearing a floor-length dress. And a shawl. And four finely sculpted bead strings. This is a standard depiction of an aristocratic lady of the later 1st Millennium. The Lejre figurine is a direct counterpart to the Aska pendant (below), which is universally understood as the effigy of a goddess. The high seat is Odin’s, allright. But the occupant is most likely Frigga or Freya. Or maybe, just maybe, Thor in drag during the hammer reclamation mission. That is so cool! This find will mess with everybody’s mind!
Congratulations to detectorist Tommy Olesen who found the piece two months ago! And thanks to Tobias Bondesson for the heads-up.
Thanks to a tip-off from Dear Reader Jerrark, here’s a close-up video of the figurine: