Key Objects
  • Þórslíkneskið, mannslíkan úr bronsi frá því um 1000

Þór or Christ?

Key Object for the Time Period 800-1000

This human figure made of bronze has been dated, on the grounds of style, to around 1000 AD. It is believed to depict Þór (Thor), one of the major Norse gods, but it could also represent Christ enthroned in glory. The figure grasps an object thought to be Þór’s hammer, but also similar in shape to the Christian cross.

The figure was unearthed in 1815 or 1816 in Eyjafjörður in North Iceland. It was sent to Copenhagen in 1817, but was returned in 1930 with other objects from the Danish National Museum.

During the period 800-1000 AD, the prevalent religion was the pagan worship of the Norse gods, but from the beginning there were also Christians in Iceland, apparently in peaceful coexistence with the pagans.