Length: 19.300 cm
P&EE 1888 1-10 1
Room 51: Europe 10,000-800 BC
The Zsujta Duck
Bronze Age, 1200-1050 BC
From Zsujta, Borsod-Abauj, Hungary
Bird-formed sentinel from a wheeled vehicle
This duck-shaped fitting was found with a hoard otherwise entirely consisting of weapons. When first found it was thought to be the end of a scabbard, but more recent theories generally suggest that it is a fitting for the end of a pole on a cart or wagon. Perforations on the underside of the socket allowed the object to be pegged to its mount.
Bird figurines, often incomplete and schematic, can be seen as attachments to cauldrons and wagons from Bronze Age Europe. Bird imagery was also incorporated in relief designs on sheet metalwork and can occur on other types of object from the Bronze Age, such as the Dunaverney flesh hook. The bird-crowned fitting from Bratislava (Pressburg), Slovakia, is probably also from a vehicle. The Zsujta find suggests that bands of warriors at this time may on occasion have been equipped with a wagon.
J. Hampel, Alterthümer der Bronzezeit in (Budapest, F. Kilian, 1887)
H. Müller-Karpe, Die Vollgriffschwerter der Urn (Munich, Beck, 1961)