Scandinavian scientists said Wednesday that they have identified the oldest-known inscription referencing the Norse god Odin on part of a gold platter unearthed in Denmark in 2020.
On the gold platter is an inscription that represents the first solid evidence of Odin being worshipped as early as the 5th century — at least 150 years earlier than the previous oldest known reference, according to Lisbeth Imer, a runologist with the National Museum in Copenhagen. The previous oldest reference was found on a brooch in southern Germany and dated to the second half of the 6th century.
Odin was one of the main gods in Norse mythology and was frequently associated with war as well as poetry.
The platter discovered in Denmark was part of a trove containing about 2.2 pounds of gold. It was unearthed in the village of Vindelev, central Jutland, and dubbed the Vindelev Hoard.
Experts think the collection was buried 1,500 years ago, either to hide it from enemies or as a tribute to satisfy the gods.
More than 1,000 pieces have been discovered in northern Europe, according to the National Museum in Copenhagen, where the collection discovered in 2020 is on display.