Body to body, cheek to cheek. They have been embracing each other in an eternal kiss over one 1000 years on a thin gold foil. Tiny and brittle, and never intended for practical use, the foil is as small as a finger nail. It is one of thousands of impressed gold foils that have been found in Scandinavian long houses from the 5th century to the late Viking Age.
The gold foils are interpreted as a kind of temple coins or lucky charms, maybe thrown in the ground of a new built house to make it prosperous. The woman is dressed in a diamond-patterned long garment and has an elaborated hair style. The man wears a tunic. His hair reaches his shoulders. Some believe they represent the god Frey and his wife Gerd, the giantess. The gold foil is found together with 25 others at the important Iron Age settlement Helgö at Lake Mälaren in Uppland.
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Text: Inga Ullén, Photo by Gunnel Jansson/SHMM
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