A pine tree farmer in Denmark has made an astonishing discovery: five enormous Bronze Age axe heads buried in a field near Nørre Snede in Jutland, Denmark. Did these weapons belong to the legendary giants that are said to have inhabited the area?
Norse mythology is rife in stories about an ancient race of violent giants known as the Jötnar. Banished to Jötunheimr by the ruling divinities (the Æsir), these giants were oftentimes hostile to mankind.
But is there any historical backing to these tales? As a matter of fact, many believe the presence of giants in worldwide mythology was inspired by a race of flesh-and-bone humanoids of giant statures.
The Bronze Age axes were discovered by farmer Esben Arildskov and his brother-in-law. Before planting a field with pine tree saplings, Arildskov used a metal detector to search for any buried artifacts. To their amazement, the two men uncovered two giant bronze axe heads. The team of archaeologists called on site found three more.
The axe heads measure 12 inches (30 centimeters) in length and each one weighs two pounds. Dating revealed they were made sometime during the 16th century BC, making them one of the oldest weapons of their kind discovered in Denmark. They are twice as heavy as axe heads usually are, suggesting that the men who wielded them must have been giant in stature.
The purity of the metal used to craft the weapons suggest advanced metalworking techniques were employed 3,600 years ago. In all truthfulness, the giants of old were known as master craftsmen.
Archaeologists believe this amazing find is unprecedented. All over Europe, only five other giant bronze axes were found, never so many in one single place.
I’m all electric,” said archaeologist Constanze Rassman, curator of Midtjylland Museum in Denmark. “Five such Bronze Age axes have been found in all Northern Europe to date, and then we go and find five more in one go. That’s fantastic!”
The axe heads are currently at the Midtjylland Museum, where archaeologists are studying and preserving them. After that, they will be placed on display at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. And if the artifacts prove to controversial, they will probably disappear along the way, like so many others.