But archaeologist Jerry Rosengren 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, Rosengren 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 Uppåkra 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.