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A fire dog
is a device of metal or ceramic intended to hold logs above the hearth (and so improving air circulation for faster burning), or to hold skewers above the fire for cooking.
"Fire dog", also moon idol
or moon horn
), also refers to an artifact type of late Bronze Age Europe
The European Bronze Age is characterized by bronze artifacts and the use of bronze implements. The regional Bronze Age succeeds the Neolithic, it starts with the Aegean Bronze Age 3200 BC...
(ca. 1300 to 800 BC), typically made of clay, found in the area of modern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
, associated with the Urnfield culture
The Urnfield culture was a late Bronze Age culture of central Europe. The name comes from the custom of cremating the dead and placing their ashes in urns which were then buried in fields...
. This naming suggests that moon idols could have been used as andirons
An andiron is a horizontal iron bar upon which logs are laid for burning in an open fireplace. They are usually used in pairs to build up a firedog, sometimes called a dog or dog-iron. In older eras An andiron (older form anderne; med. Lat. andena, anderia) is a horizontal iron bar upon which logs...
to build up fire dogs.
In some cases moon idols are apparently a cult item of Early European Religion, resembling a pair of horns or crescent moons on a pedestal, and was variously interpreted as testifying to Bull worship, Moon worship, or as a holder for wooden logs to be used in a fire altar
Worship or deification of fire is known from various religions. Fire has been an important part of human culture since the Lower Paleolithic...
- Babes, M. und Mihailescu-Bîrliba, V.: Germanische latènezeitliche "Feuerböcke" aus der Moldau 1971
- Mondhörner - "Urgeschichtliche Messgeräte" in Helvetica Archäologica 32/2001
- Derungs K.: Geheimnisvolles Zürich ISBN 3-905581-22-1
- Steuer, H.: "Germanische 'Feuerböcke' aus dem Hannoverschen Wendland", Arch. Korrespondenzbl. 3, 1973