Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Thor's Hammer with Runes on it.
Of the over 1000 finds of Mjölnir/Mjølnir 'Thor's Hammer' amulets, only 1, the most recently found one in fact, from Lolland in Denmark has been found with runes on it! This historic find is also the first actual proof of the long held and educated but nonetheless assumed idea that these symbols represent Thor's Hammer from Norse mythology.
The runic inscription reads "Hmar x is" translated into English as "This is a hammer." The x is used as a word divider here, however I would suggest that in addition to this function in relation to the phonetic use of runes, the x could also represent the rune gebo "gift" symbolising that "This hammer is a gift." Just a possibility. Old Norse literature is full of riddles, kennings and multiple layers of meaning. Even the word rune derives from an Indo-European root for hidden or mystery. Given the cultic and ritual nature of these amulets for divine protection and the multifaceted and magical associations of the runes, it is possible that the x which is exactly the shape of the gift rune was chosen deliberately, especially when runestones usually use a vertical stroke or : to indicate word or line dividers (although this varied).
The amulet is bronze with silver and gold coating on different parts of it. It was found my a metal detectorist as well as some scraps of metal and pins indicating that this may be from a domestic or household context.
See some pictures of this beautiful find here: