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Copies are made as a necklace in bronze or silver. The artwork measures 3/4” in diameter. It is cast on both sides directly from the original piece from the Viking Age and is made in Norway.
The original was cast in lead. Craftsmen in Kaupang probably made it since it was never finished. The pattern is well known on the continent. The continental pattern indicates that craftsmen at Kaupang had close contact with Europe. What the finished piece was meant to be is not quite certain, possibly jewelry or a buckle.
History of the Sun Cross
The sun cross, a cross inside a circle, is one of the oldest and most universal religious symbols, and a popular neopagan solar symbol. It is also known as the suncross, solar cross, sun wheel, sunwheel, sun disc. The Neolithic symbol combining cross and circle is the simplest conceivable representation of the union of opposed polarities in the Western world. Crossed circles scratched on stones have been recovered from Paleolithic cave sites in the Pyrenees. At the most famous megalithic site in Scotland, Callanish, crossing avenues of standing stones extend from a circle. Scratched into stone or painted on pottery, as on that of the Samara culture, the crossed-circle symbol appears in such diverse areas as the Pyrenees in Old Europe, the Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Iranian plateau, and the cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in the Indus River valley. It may be compared to the yin-yang symbol of the Eastern world.
In the prehistoric religion of Bronze Age Europe, crosses in circles appear frequently on artefacts identified as cult items. Even though Scandinavians joined the European Bronze Age cultures fairly late through trade, Scandinavian sites present rich and well-preserved objects made of bronze and gold. During this period Scandinavia gave rise to the first known advanced civilization in this area, following the Nordic Stone Age. The Scandinavians adopted many important European and Mediterranean symbols while adapting these to create a unique Nordic style. Mycenaean Greece, the Villanovan culture, Phoenicia and Ancient Egypt have all been identified as possible sources of influence for Scandinavian artwork from this period.