Balkåkra - a ritual object
Is it a drum, a sun altar, a gong or a throne? This ritual object is made of bronze. It was found in a bog in 1847 in Skåne, Balkåkra. It has a twin. An identical bronze object was found in northern Hungary, in Hasfalva (Ágfalva) near Sopron in 1913. These pieces are the only two of their kind in the world. The technique shows that they were manufactured in the same workshop, perhaps by the same craftsman.

The object from Balkåkra consists of a dish-shaped disc with zigzag-lines, similar to a sun depiction. It is attached to an open-work frame ending with wheel symbols. The frame comprises 10 parts that are put together with rivets. On each module there are lines or dots, a number system. They show the place of the module in the structure. This is one of the first examples of serial production in a European workshop. The production area was somewhere in Central Europe. Scandinavian archaeologists date the objects to c. 1500 BC while Hungarian colleagues date them to 1000-800 BC.

The specific function of Balkåkra and Hasfalva cannot be identified. The wheel symbols signify movement, the costly metal suggests power and wealth. The discs have been interpreted as sun symbols. Probably, these ritual objects played an important role within the religion of the Bronze Age.

This objects is exhibited at the National Historical Museum in Stockholm

Persistant Site URL: kulturarvsdata.se/shm/site/html/1968

This set is created by Inga Ullén.
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