Viking-Era Amulet Named 'Thor's Hammer' Is the First of Its Kind Discovered in Iceland

Playing Archaeologists Find Sandstone 'Thor's Hammer' in Iceland

It might be smaller than Hollywood’s depiction of the hammer of Thor, but the unusual artifact is the first of its kind to be discovered.

Archaeologists discovered the Viking Age amulet, known as "Thor’s Hammer," in southwest Iceland, at a site they believe was used as a farm by early settlers.  

While there have been other Thor’s Hammer amulets discovered in parts of Scandinavia, this is the first to be made of sandstone.

Experts believe the symbol may come from a mix of Asatru, a pagan religion, and Christianity that was spreading to Scandinavia around the time it would have been made.

Early settlers of Iceland would have lived in the area in the 9th and 10th centuries, and most likely fled the site in 1104 A.D., after Mount Helka erupted and left the land infertile.

Also found at the site, now named Bergsstadir after the local that discovered it, was a portable whetstone used for sharpening needles and shards of soapstone experts believe are parts of a large pot.

Bergur Thor Bjornsson, who was the first to find the site, seems to have discovery in his DNA as his great-great grandfather found 20 similar sites in the 1920s.

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