One of the most compelling figures from Norse mythology is the legendary figure of Thor, the god of thunder, who tore around the skies, picking fights with giants and fighting mighty battles with his iconic hammer, Mjölnir. Mjölnir (pronounced as ‘miol-neer’), was one of the most powerful weapons ever constructed and had the power to both destroy and build.


That Thor and his legendary hammer hold a central role in Norse mythology is not disputed by historians. However, there has been a long-running debate in historical circles as to how exactly the Viking people paid tribute to the legend.

Over the years, thousands of hammer-shaped amulets have been discovered in regions known to have once been settled by the Viking people and historians have never been able to come to a definitive conclusion about what their significance is. Some claimed that the items were representative of the mighty hammer of Thor whereas others suggested that they were some other form of talisman popular among the Scandinavian people at that moment in history. Now it looks as though a new archaeological discovery has settled the debate once and for all.

Torben Christjansen, an amateur archaeologist, armed only with a rudimentary metal detector made a fascinating discovery while exploring the Danish island of Lollard. He found a tenth-century “tor sham mere” amulet made from precious metals which measure approximately 2.5cm in length, and there can be no question of what its maker intended it to be. The tiny hammer is inscribed with the words ‘This is a hammer.’

Christjansen immediately handed his incredible find over to the National Museum where the artifact was examined, and tests were performed to determine its origin and authenticity. According to researcher Lisbeth Imer from the National Museum of Denmark, who was tasked with translating the inscription, there is no doubt that the word reads ‘hammer.’ However, she did say that the word ‘hammer’ was misspelled, “The author of the inscription missed the first vowel of the word hammer, ” she said. According to Imer, this was probably an intentional mistake functioning to save space on the minuscule amulet.

Facebook Comments