Mathematics solves mystery of Viking craftsmanship

Historians and craftsmen have long pondered the absolute regularity of Viking jewelry made from twisted rods of gold and silver, but a new theory by Kasper Olsen and Jakob Bohr at the Technical University of Denmark may have solved the puzzle: mathematics.

One of the most puzzling aspects of the jewelry, other than its regularity, was its ubiquitousness throughout the Viking world, but Olsen and Bohr believe the answer may be as simple as twisting the rods as far as they would go. “Maximally rotated geometry is universal and therefore independent of the skills of the craftsman,” they said.