Guldgubbar are tiny pieces of gold foil with (usually) embossed motifs. They most commonly depict single men, then embracing couples, then single women, all in fine clothing. They date from the Vendel Period (540-790) and seem to have been religious artefacts. Usually they are found in the remains of elite residences, concentrating in and around roof-bearing postholes in the main hall. They form this gold-poor period’s continuation of the Migration Period’s gold bractate pendants and other sumptuous goldwork.
Gold foil figures weren’t necessarily made where they are found. They are eminently portable, and identical ones have been found at multiple sites. But if you find the copper-alloy dies they were stamped on, then you’ve probably located a production site. And unlike the tiny foils themselves, the dies can be located in the ploughsoil by means of a metal detector. We know of fewer than 25 such dies. In 2007 I was lucky enough to direct fieldwork where Niklas Krantz found the northernmost one known to archaeology: at Sättuna in Kaga outside of Linköping. The Sättuna die (below) shows a single woman seen in profile, opening her mouth to speak or sing and lifting her hand in an imperious gesture.
On 23 February Danish metal detectorist Dennis Maigaard found a closely similar die while working with a county museum. It has the Sättuna lady’s sideways displaced feet that suggest she’s sitting down, it has the great disc-on-bow-brooch under her jawline, but it hasn’t got the raised hand. The site is a known elite one at Boeslunde on SW Zealand that has yielded at least one die before. I wish Swedish archaeology would collaborate more with people like Dennis instead of putting destructive legal obstacles in their way!