The Gjermundbu helmet is a Viking Age helmet.[1][2]

Gjermundbu helmet
Colour photograph of the Gjermundbu helmet
Gjermundbu Helmet
Createdc. 900s
Ringerike, Norway
Present locationUniversity of Oslo
RegistrationC27317 k

The helmet was discovered during field clearing in 1943 at the Gjermundbu farm near Haugsbygd in the municipality of Ringerike in Buskerud, Norway. Officials at the University of Oslo were later notified. Conservator Sverre Marstrander and museum assistant Charlotte Blindheim led an investigation which confirmed the existence of a burial chamber of historic value dating from the Viking Age. The Gjermundbu finds (Gjermundbu-funnet) contained many artifacts including articles of weaponry. The Gjermundbu helmet was found in nine fragments and was subsequently restored. The helmet was made of iron and was in the shape of a peaked cap made from four plates. It is now on display at the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo.[3][4]

Together with the Tjele helmet fragment, the Yarm helmet, the Lokrume helmet fragment, and a fragment from Kyiv, it is one of only five known Viking helmets, and one of only two capable of reconstruction.[5]

Discovery edit

It was Gunnar Gjermundbo, son of farmer Lars Gjermundbo, who, in the afternoon of 29 March 1943, came upon a rich grave find in Vesleenga.[6] There it was planned to set up a family home for his parents, Lars and Elise.[6] On the site was a large burial mound (a round mound from the Iron Age) that Gunnar knew about, but he had no intention of touching it. Just to the west of this burial mound, there was an elongated elevation that had to be levelled for residential purposes and to plant a new orchard there. It was when he began to dig in this elevation that objects began to appear. The next day, the local historian Jon Guldal contacted the Oldsaksamlingen by telephone and told them about the find, and the local newspaper Ringerikes Blad brought the news about the find and an interview with Lars Gjermundbo on 31 March.[6]

The elevation is claimed to have been approximately 25 meter long, 8 meter wide (at its widest) and up to 1.8 m high burial mound, which a little later turned out to be two different man graves (cremations) from the Viking Age. Subsequently, however, the dimensions of the ship-shaped burial mound have been somewhat updated, respectively to 29 m long and up to 9 m wide.[6] The university's Antiquities Collection was notified, and conservator Sverre Marstrander and museum assistant Charlotte Blindheim were sent to investigate the matter. They carried out a post-excavation of the discovery site without any further objects coming to light. Marstrander was able to ascertain that it was an exceptionally rich man's grave from the Viking Age, and took the objects back to Oslo.

In May of the same year, Gjermundbo found another grave in the same mound. Marstrander was again sent out and he was able to ascertain that this was a new grave from the same period as the first. The two burial finds thus go under the designation Gjermundbu I and II.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Frans-Arne Stylegar. "Gjermundbu-funnet". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Gjermundbu". September 22, 2005. Archived from the original on February 15, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Gjermbu. Norderhov herad. Buskerud". Matrikkelutkastet av 1950. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Frans-Arne Stylegar. "Sverre Marstrander". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Ian Harvey (December 22, 2016). "The only surviving example of a complete Viking helmet in existence". Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Stylegar, Frans-Arne H.; Børsheim, Ragnar Løken (2021-12-13). "Gjermundbufunnet – en småkonges grav med østlig tilsnitt på Ringerike". Viking. 85 (1). doi:10.5617/viking.9089. ISSN 2535-2660. S2CID 245155476.

Bibliography edit