Biblical Archaeology Review 42:5, September/October 2016


Gundestrup, Denmark

Found in a peat bog in Gundestrup, Denmark, this silver panel comes from a cauldron and dates to the first or second century B.C.E. With a 27-inch diameter, the cauldron weighs almost 20 pounds and is 16.5 inches high.

Specialists are divided on the origin of the Gundestrup Cauldron. Some believe it was made in Thrace based on the embossed and punched-pattern style of the metalwork. Others argue for a Celtic origin based on symbols carved on it. They identify the large central figure as the Celtic deity Cú Roí. Dominated by his curling beard, Cú Roí holds one small human champion in each hand as he judges them. The cauldron was thrown into the bog most likely as a sacrifice or offering.

The Gundestrup Cauldron is one of the finest examples of Iron Age metalwork from Europe. It can be seen in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.

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