“For many years in popular culture, people associated the Viksø helmets with the Vikings,” said Helle Vandkilde, an archaeologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who was involved in the research, in a press statement sent to CNN.
“But our research confirms that the helmets were deposited in the bog in about 900 B.C., almost 3,000 years ago and many centuries before the Vikings or Norse dominated the region.”
During the Bronze Age in Sardinia, symbols of horned creatures such as bulls had religious significance, and were often used to decorate Neolithic tombs.
“Our study shows that Scandinavian depictions of horned warriors occur at the same time as very similar images in Sardinia and southwest Spain. This testifies to the tight connections between the great civilisations of Bronze Age Europe; the first globalisation based on long-distance trade in metals, ideas and luxuries,” Vandkilde added.
“The horned warriors in Scandinavia, Sardinia and Spain all associate with new political regimes backed by control of metals and new religious beliefs.”
Those who wore horned helmets would have been considered “the quintessential warrior,” researchers said.