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Nordic Late Bronze Age Razorz: "Very like a whale"
Warmenbol, E. (2015). Nordic Late Bronze Age Razorz: "Very like a whale". Archaeol. Korresp. Bl. 45(4): 487-497
In: Archaeologisches Korrespondenzblatt. Zentralmuseum: Mainz. ISSN 0342-734X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Author 

    Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Denmark; Northern Germany; Bronze Age; iconography; sperm whale; courseof the sun

Author  Top 
  • Warmenbol, E.

    Sperm whales do not belong to the North Sea, but could be observed, even from very close, as they frequently strand on the beaches. The animal seems to have given his very typical outline to the decorated Late Bronze Age razors from Scandinavia and Northern Germany. One has to read these systematically, with the handle at the bottom right. But they most often offer multiple interpretations, as they also have a meaning held upside down. Flemming Kaul has brilliantly shown that the iconography of these razors relates to the solar cycle, with several animals intervening in this cycle, such as the horse. The sperm whale seems to be the animal swallowing the sun and carrying it, on a ship, through the night, only to regurgitate the ship at sun dawn, as he did with Jonah, another passenger of this monster which could also be viewed at the edge of the world, where the sun sets.

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