3D Image of Birka Dragonhead © Sven Kalmring, Lena Holmquist & Mikael Lundin

Recent excavations in Black Earth Harbour at Birka have yielded a dress pin that can, almost 150 year later, be directly linked to this mould. This artefact introduces a unique ’Birka style’ to the small corpus of known Viking Age dragonhead dress pins.

The authors Lena Holmquist, Archaeological Research Laboratory, Stockholm University and Sven Kalmring, Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Schleswig discuss and explore the artefact´s manufacture, function and chronology, and its connections to ship figureheads.


More information

‘The gleaming mane of the serpent’: the Birka dragonhead from Black Earth Harbour - Article in Antiquity, Volume 92, Issue 363, June 2018 , pp. 742-757