Pre-Viking gold hoard discovered in Denmark

Buried in the 6th century in southwestern Denmark: An amateur archaeologist has unearthed a treasure trove of 22 gold pieces, his museum announced Monday.

“It is made up of many gold objects, including a medallion the size of a saucer. We see a lot of symbols there, some of which are still unknown to us, which will allow us to expand our knowledge of the men of that time”, before the Viking Age, explained to AFP Mads Raven, Director Research. Museums in Vejle, in western Denmark.

The treasure, weighing less than a kilogram, was discovered near Jieling, considered by historians to be the cradle of kings in the Viking Age, between the eighth and twelfth centuries. It was uncovered by an amateur archaeologist who just bought a metal detector.

The discovery dates back about six months, but it has been kept a secret until now.

Some objects feature runic decorations and inscriptions that may refer to the rulers of that time, but also mention Norse mythology. One coin depicting the Roman Emperor Constantine (early 4th century).

“It is the symbolism depicted on these objects that makes them unique, more than the quantity discovered,” Raven said.

According to first examinations, the treasure could have been deposited as an offering to the gods by a local dignitary at a chaotic time when the climate of northern Europe was turned upside down after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 had covered the sky in ash.

The treasure will be on display at the Vejle Museum from February 2022.

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