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Iron staff with fragmented cage handle in the upper part. The handle was kept in place by two biconical bronze knobs decorated with ring and dot and flanges. The cage consisted of twisted rods, which were pulled through the holes on a circular disc, placed between the bronze knobs, which also gave the cage a biconical shape. In Scandinavia staffs of this kind have only been found in about 30 graves, virtually exclusively in women's graves. There are different interpretations of what the staffs are and represent. Judging from their appearance they might be symbolic versions of spinning rods. That would make them attributes of the women who, like the mythological Norns, have the power to influence destiny and the lives of men. In parts of Old Norse literature we meet other women who were thought to have similar characteristics, the seeresses. The Old Norse word for seeress, vǫlva, means 'staff-bearer'. Perhaps the staffs were their special attribute. Stray find, "trakten av Gnesta", Frustuna Parish, Södermanland.

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Object number: 208965_HST

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