One of the absolute show-stopper pieces at the Danish Viking Exhibit hosted at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) was a gorgeous harness bow.
The description listed on the bow was:
“Harness-bow with two fully-mounted wolfhead terminals, ridgemount and with gilt-bronze mounts riveted to the modern wooden bow. Søllested, Funen, Denmark 950-975 CE ”
Another poster nearby put the bow into context, and said:
This wooden harness bow with ornamental bronze mounts was worn on the back of a horse pulling a carriage. It was found with another bow in a Danish burial chamber.
The terminal figures show growling and howling wolves.
In Viking mythology the god Odin was accompanied by two wolves Geri and Freke (meaning the Greedy One and the Rapacious One). The two small figures on the upper mount may represent the god Odin and goddess Frigg.
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ooh! I had to do research into harness bows for my last novel (The Wound of Words) – but I didn’t come across anything quite so ornamental as this!
it’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?!