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Thor's hammer on display in block of ice as part of York winter festival
12:44pm Sunday 15th December 2013 in News
A FESTIVAL celebrating winter has seen a new addition this year with the Norse god Thor’s hammer encased in a block of ice.
The York Festival of Angels, taking place this weekend (December 14 to 15), boasts a display of more than a dozen ice sculptures sponsored by local businesses.
Thor’s hammer, currently guarded by two Viking warriors in Davygate, is defrosting ahead of next year’s Jorvik Viking Festival and is on display as the countdown to Ragnarok – the Norse apocalypse foretold to take place on February 22, 2014 – reaches 70 days.
The hammer that visitors will see was made by Jorvik Viking Centre’s technical team from wood taken from the tree that stood at the heart of the Coppergate Shopping Centre until earlier this year, and has been painted silver to look metallic.
Festival director Danielle Daglan said: “Many of York’s older residents will remember the Coppergate archaeological dig in the late 1970s, which is when York Archaeological Trust’s team discovered the superbly preserved remains of Viking streets and houses.
“The archaeological deposits included rich organic matter from the ninth century, so given that the roots of this tree will have penetrated down to the Viking level it is likely that some Viking waste would have gradually made its way up into the tree.”
The ice block holding the hammer is carved with the Jorvik Viking Festival logo, and inscribed with #Ragnarok2014.
For more information on the programme for the 2014 Jorvik Viking Festival, please visit www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk.
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