Swedish archaeologists have uncovered signs of a Viking precursor to Mickey Mouse. Among the objects found during excavations at Upp?kra in southern Sweden is an iron age figure bearing a strong resemblance to the classic cartoon character.
But archaeologist Jerry Rosenberg from Lund University is confident that the bronze brooch - used as a clasp to fasten women's clothing - was in fact intended to represent a Lion King rather than a mere mouse.
"The find is from around 900 AD. It was probably a lion's head that originally came from France. It was however more than likely designed by somebody who had never actually seen a lion.
"Instead it turned into this sort of strange, fantasy animal," he told The Local.
Despite the cartoon coincidence, Rosenberg insists there are no plans to open a Viking equivalent to Disneyland.
"No, I don't think so. But we do have a big exhibition at the Lund Historical Museum, which includes two to three thousand objects," he said.
Archaeologists have recovered a total of over 20,000 Iron Age items since digging began at Upp?kra in 1996. The town functioned as a major cultic and political centre from the first to the tenth century, at which point it was replaced by the strategically better placed city of Lund just five kilometres away.