Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

Four - Bronze Birds

from Part II - Birdscapes


In North Europe, animal depictions first appear in bronze during MBA I but do not become common until MBA II.2 Some of the earliest depictions are fish-like figures found on bronze weapons, such as the subtly decorated spearhead found in the renowned Valsømagle interment, dated to MBA I.3 Horse motifs first appeared in MBA II, and in a recent study Flemming Kaul advocated that they were introduced through long-distance contacts with the palace cultures in the eastern Mediterranean.4 Based on current evidence, horse depictions seem to appear simultaneously in the rock and bronze media. In bronze, the horse appears both as figurines and as sculptured handles on razors in MBA II. The most famous is the adorned horse figurine from the Trundholm moor from Zealand in Denmark, which appears to pull an elaborate sun disk on a string (Plate 2).