A knife pulled from the icy landscape of Norway features a handle that looks like a 13th century royal – but archaeologists cannot determine if it is a king or queen.
This bone object was made of animal bones and features a head with a crown, as well as a peregrine falcon on its arm.
Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research says the artifact shows the oldest Scandinavian representations of the noble activity of falconry.
Archaeologists from Oslo discovered the knife while searching for evidence in the city’s medieval center. They found it right outside their tent.
A knife pulled from the icy landscape of Norway features a handle that is designed to look like a 13th century royal – but archaeologists cannot determine if it is a king or queen
Ann-Ingeborg Floa Grindhaug was the archaeologist who found the knife. She said that she believed it to be a large fishbone when she took it out of the snow.
She stated that she thought the object had an unusual shape.
The three-inch-long object was turned around by her, and she was delighted to discover a smiling face looking back at the figure.
Kjartan Hauglid (NIKU’s art historian and researcher), stated in a statement that there is no question the figure wore a crown.
Ann-Ingeborg Floa Grindhaug (pictured), archaeologists that discovered the knife thought it was a large, fishbone when it was pulled from the snow. The three-inch-long knife was turned around by Ann-Ingeborg Floa Grindhaug, who was delighted to discover a smiley face staring at her.
“But, it’s harder to determine if it’s a king oder a queen.”
NIKU explains that carving the falcon doesn’t give away its gender, as falconers were women in medieval times.
Hauglid stated that the artifact was likely made in Oslo at a workshop and is one of the most significant Oslo artifacts in recent years.
“We know of only a few similar falcon finds from Northern Europe. Many depict women.”
The date of the object, however, coincides with the reign of Håkon Håkonsson, king of Norway in the period 1217 to 1263.
He was also a prominent player in falconry.
This bone object was made of animal bones and shows a person with a crown at their top and peregrine falcon perched upon their arm.
The lower portion of the knife is hallow, which experts say indicates it was a shaft for a weapon or tool, is made of organic material, either bone or antler.
The figure is designed with a contemporary 13th century hairstyle or its head is wrapped in and the face features a smile and its eyes are marked by small holes.
A falcon is seen resting on the right arm of the figure, and its head appears to be bent toward the figure’s left.
It is illustrated in a lattice-engraved design and has a falcon’s eye drilled.
Researchers shared the belief that this practice was reserved for elites, inferring high status.