The idea of a connection to the Norse religion has been proposed, but also possible connections to Christianity have been pointed out.
On the other hand, if the ornament's ties to more specific and deep layers of Norse religion weakened, it could have made the adoption of the Late Viking styles easier for non-Scandinavians.
ANIMALS AND HUMANS: RECURRENT SYMBIOSIS IN ARCHAEOLOGY AND OLD NORSE RELIGION.
The research for Animals and Humans was conducted between 1999 and 2005 as part of a larger multidisciplinary project at Lund University called "Roads to Midgard: Old Norse Religion in Long-term Perspectives.
Together with the Scandinavian gold bracteates, they present a unique source on pagan Norse religion.
Helgo early demonstrated how archaeology can contribute to an understanding of pagan Norse religion and the transition to Christianity in Scandinavia towards the end of the first millennium AD.
Thus the Norse metaphysical belief structure, for example, encompasses elements of Norse magical practices, Norse religion, and Norse mores, but is not limited to any of those specific components.
Although it overlaps with its Norse counterpart--affirming the existence of Norse gods, Yggdrasil, Norns, Jotuns, and other elements of Norse religion and mythology--the Celtic belief structure is life-affirming, even holistic by modern standards.
Two hundred delegates from fifteen countries gathered in Lund, Sweden, in June to discuss the surprising subject of Old Norse religion.
Old Norse Religion in Long Term Perspective" has been based at the University of Lund under the leadership of Anders Andren, (who is to be the new Professor of Archaeology at Stockholm).
Particular highlights include: a reasoned advocacy as to why archaeologists should concern themselves with written sources just as much as historians or literary scholars do; a penetrating account of the ways in which the study of Norse religion
became dangerously entangled with Nazism in the course of the 20th century; a brilliant survey of the archaeology of seithr, with a particular emphasis on the apparent graves of volur or prophetesses; a lucid meditation of a good deal of specialist scholarship on shamanism the world over; a startling vindication of Ibn Fadlan as a prime witness to Scandinavian practices; and convincing re-evaluations of the nature and function of valkyrjur and berserkir.