The Museum Gallery
The Eye of Tyr
During an expedition by a team of Danish and American archaologists to an island chain of disputed territory (now known as the Faroe Islands) off the coast of Northern Europe following World War I, an unexpected discovery was made. An ornate sepulchre, or burial chamber, was found carved into the rocky hillside at the foot of the shoreline. Although it housed no human remains, the tomb did contain several agrarian tools and primitive military weaponry dating back to early 11th century Scandanavia. However, the most spectacular item found was a necklace featuring a large gemstone (later identified as a near flawless example of garnet malaya - a precious stone found only at the basin of the Umba River in Tanzania) strung on a baroque chain forged from silver ore, most likely from the Kongsberg ore deposit in nearby Norway. Carvings on the wall of the sepulchre offered no clues to the identity of who was or was to have been buried there, but they did clearly identify the necklace as the legendary Eye of Tyr.
The Eye of Tyr, named for Týr the Norse god of combat and war, has often been mentioned in ancient Viking manuscripts. Long thought to be simply a legend of mythology, the Eye, whose exact origins are still unknown, was believed to give unique powers to only those who possessed it. These powers, said to have been given as a gift from Tyr himself, allowed the holder to "control" another individual simply by touching the stone to the forehead (hence, "the third eye"). The translated journals of several Norse explorers, merchants, and pirates, however, also suggest that unless the Eye is given away upon use or if it is obtained through theft or other nefarious means, the holder will be befallen by bad luck or tragedy
Two questions about this artifact have yet to be answered: one, how did this gem find its way from a remote location in East Africa to Northern Scandanavia when there is no record of Viking exploration farther south than the Mediterranean Sea; and two, how valid are the claims of the paranormal and psychokinetic properties of "the Eye".
The current whereabouts of this artifact are unknown. Held for many years in the private collection of an unidentified family, it was stolen sometime in the mid 1980's. It turned up at an auction in a neutral country in 1990, and has changed hands between private collectors at least three times since. Due to the unusually mysterious history of this artifact, the ISRPPA has made it a priority to locate.