A pre-Viking treasure discovered in Denmark

It had been buried in the 6th century in southwestern Denmark. A treasure consisting of 22 gold objects has been discovered by an amateur archaeologist, the museum that will house it announced on 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 broaden our knowledge of the men of that time ”, preceding the Viking age, explained Mads Ravn, the director of research of the museums of Vejle. , in western Denmark.

Exhibited at the museum from February 2022

The treasure, just under a kilo, was discovered next to Jelling, considered by historians to be the cradle of kings in the Viking Age, between the 8th and 12th centuries. It was an amateur archaeologist, who had just bought a metal detector, who brought it to light. The discovery dates back about six months but had been carefully kept secret until now.

Some objects have runic motifs and inscriptions which may refer to the rulers of the time, but which also recall Norse mythology. One coin depicts the Roman Emperor Constantine (early 4th century). “It’s the symbolism depicted on these objects that makes them unique, more than the quantity discovered,” Ravn said.

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According to the first examinations, the treasure could have been deposited as an offering to the gods by a local notable at a chaotic time when the climate of northern Europe was turned upside down after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 which had covered the sky with ashes. The treasure will be exhibited at the Vejle museum from February 2022.

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