A hoard of unique Bronze Age artifacts discovered at Kallerup near Thisted, Denmark in 2019 is returning home. at a landmark exhibition for the opening of the new Thisted Museum.
The Kallerup hoard is a group of four bronze statuettes of exceptional craftsmanship and quality, discovered during archaeological research at a site slated for mining. The bronze figure of a two-faced man with horned helmets on each head was first discovered in a field by a metal detector working with archaeologists from the Chu Museum. Then came the pommel of a large ceremonial axe, also bronze. A foot-diameter ax with spiral ends was placed in a dirt block for excavation in the laboratory. Computed tomography of the block revealed two more double figurines with horse heads and snake bodies.
Careful excavation and conservation of the group took months. The cleaned Kallerup treasure debuted at the National Museum of Denmark in January 2020. The exhibition highlighted the motif of dualism in the religious art of Bronze Age Denmark, which manifests itself in the two-headed horned man in the helmet and serpentine double horses.
The treasure belongs to the National Museum, but it will be on long-term loan to the Thisted Museum. The loan would have to be renewed every five years, but renewals are expected to be repeated indefinitely so that the hoard can remain a stone’s throw from its original context. The new museum is much larger than its predecessor, with over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space spread across three buildings. Seven permanent exhibits will showcase the area’s history and prehistory dating back to the Stone Age, with archaeological material found in the area.
With a grand opening on June 24, the Kallerup Hoard will share space with other impressive local finds such as the Ydbi runestone, a six-ringed gold bracelet, amber jewelry, and grave goods from an Iron Age warrior burial, including a wooden pot. the spoon that is by far the best preserved and possibly the only Iron Age potted spoon found in Denmark. (Other variants are too damaged to be definitively identified as potting spoons.)