The Ribe Skull Fragment
The Skull Fragment
This object was found in 1973 during archaeological excavation in Ribe, Denmark.
It consists of a fragment of human skull that was subsequently fashioned into an amulet. It measures circa 6 cm by 8.5cm in size and contains a small hole, which would have allowed it to be worn as an amulet. The object dates from the mid-8th century, a time when Denmark was still pagan. It contains a number of lines of inscribed Runic text which give an insight into the objects original function.
The runic inscription appears to invoke a triple force of protectors to fight a Dwarf. These are Ulf (Wolf), Odin and High-Tyr, who is probably the warrior god Tyr. Alternatively, Ulf/Odin/High-Tyr could be a three-fold name for Odin.
The Runic Inscription
ulfuR Auk uþin Auk HutiuR : HiAlb buri(i)s : uiþR | þAiMA uiArki Auk tuirk unin buur
UlfuR auk Óðinn auk Hó-TíuR. Hialp buri es viðR þæima værki. Auk dverg unninn. Bóur(r).
Ulf and Odin, and High Tyr, is help for Bur, against these pain and Dwarf sword, Bur.