Two rare Viking treasures have been discovered in Denmark from the time of the famous Viking king Harald Blauwtand. The treasures consist of a total of about 300 pieces of silver and are more than a thousand years old, the North Jutland Museum writes in a press release.
The first hint at the treasures came last fall, when about 70 people with a metal detector walked through a plowed meadow near the ruins of the Viking fortress of Fyrkat, in northern Denmark.
There, a number of investigators found a piece of silver and part of a piece of jewelry, which seemed to date from the same time. They quickly realized that they had found something special, one of the finders, Jane Foged-Mønster, told Danish broadcaster TV 2. They then called in archaeologists from the North Jutland Museum, after which the two treasures were excavated.
They were about fifty meters apart in the same meadow. They may have been buried next to each other, but they have become separated from each other due to the many plowing of the fields.
Important period in Viking Age
Lars Christian Norbach, director of the North Jutland Museum, calls the find “very rare”. The Danish coins found in particular are special; a cross has been struck on it. This had to do with the conversion of Harald Blauwtand to Christianity as the first Viking king.
These so-called cross coins – possibly minted around 980 – were in circulation for a relatively short time, because Blauwtand was deposed soon afterwards after a revolt by his son Sven Forkbeard.
The treasures may have been buried as a precaution at the time because of the war between father and son, given the proximity of Viking fortress Fyrkat van Blauwtand. Museum curator Torben Trier Christiansen says that the site itself is therefore also special. The urge to bury the treasures might say more about the last battles between father and son.
“The two silver treasures make a fantastic story on their own, but to find them just five miles from Fyrkat is incredibly exciting,” he says.
The museum’s archaeologists hope to continue digging at the site where the treasures were found in the autumn after harvesting. There may still be remains of settlements, which can provide more insight into an important period in the Viking Age.
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