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1,100-year-old amulet confirms hammer of Thor theory

Recent findings suggest that thousands of hammer-shaped Viking artifacts are in fact hammers


As it turns out, they were hammers all along (Photo: Wikimedia)

July 2, 2014
15:37

by Lawrence Shanahan


A runic inscription on an amulet found on the Danish island of Lolland confirms what we’ve all been waiting to know: those thousands of small hammer-shaped metal objects that matched the description of the legendary weapon from the Norse myths were in fact hammers.

What tipped the specialists off was an inscription on one of the hammers that read “Hmar x is”, which rather straightforwardly translates as “This is a hammer”.

This unknown craftsman – who was inexplicably literate – has done archaeologists a favour with his concise inscription and put the debate to rest.

By the hammer of Thor!
In Nordic mythology, Thor used his hammer to protect Asgard, the home of the Gods. It was said that the hammer was powerful enough to level mountains (see more on this in the 2011 Hollywood rendition).

Vikings commonly wore a small replica around their necks as a protective charm.

“It was the amulet’s protective power that counted, and often we see torshammere and Christian crosses appearing together, providing double protection,” Peter Pentz, an archaeologist at the National Museum of Denmark, told Past Horizons. 



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