Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/236

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HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

inscription, and therefore older than the use of Runic letters on medals.

In the eleventh century, shoes appear to have been in general use, for it is recorded that Oluf Kyrre, the first Norwegian king, caused those who sought his court to shoe their horses with golden shoes.

Recent discoveries in the peat-mosses of Thorsbjerg and Nydam in Sleswig have exposed remains of men and horses, supposed to have found their way there in the 'early iron period of the third and fourth centuries;' but no shoes were found, though there were bridles, spurs, and nose-pieces to protect the horse's nose. Skulls and bones of horses, sometimes almost complete skeletons, were noted, and the state in which they were found is curious. 'Near a tolerably complete skeleton of a horse, were found, besides shield-boards, shafts of lances, and other wooden objects, several beads, two iron bits, several metal mountings for shields, an iron spear-head, a whetstone, several arrow-heads, an awl of iron, and a Roman silver denarius. Not far from it were two skulls and other remains of horses, and near them some iron-bits. The skulls of horses, which, just as those last mentioned, appeared to have been deposited without the other parts of the animals, had still their bits in their mouths, one of the bits being incomplete and evidently deposited in that state. And if there could still be any doubt as to the skeletons being contemporaneous with the antiquities, it must yield to the fact that several of the skulls have been exposed to a similarly violent and inexplicable ill-treatment as the vast majority of the other objects deposited.' The bones were examined by Professor Steenstrap, the Director of