Treasure found in Viking Age ‘shopping mall’

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(ORDO NEWS) — A sumptuous treasure of coins and jewels buried about 800 years ago has been discovered near the town of Hedeby on the Jutland peninsula in northern Germany.

Luck smiled on the novice archaeologist, who conducted only the third trip in his career.

The official release about the discovery was published by the State Archaeological Office of Schleswig-Holstein, and The History Blog talks more about it.

The discovery was made by aspiring archaeologist Niki Andreas Steinmann during his third trip with an instructor.

The fact is that on the territory of Schleswig-Holstein, amateur archaeologists are given permission to search for treasures only after studying in public administration and passing an exam.

In this case, an amateur searched for artifacts using a metal detector under the supervision of an instructor. He managed to unearth several silver coins and gold jewelry.

After that, the work was stopped, and the instructor called state archaeologists to the place of discovery. The latter conducted professional excavations and removed the entire treasure from the ground.

In total, about 30 silver coins, earrings, two gilded rings, one fragment of a ring and two brooches were found. Apparently, the coins were originally stacked in a neat pile and wrapped in a piece of cloth.

The treasure lay in the ground for about 800 years, so the fabric has decayed. But between the coins, the remains of textiles and a cloth bag were found, in which the treasure was buried.

It was possible to date the treasures by dating the coins. They were minted during the reign of the Danish king Valdemar II (1202-1241 AD).

The hoard included a pair of gold filigree pendant earrings adorned with precious stones. Archaeologists characterize these ornaments as outstanding products.

The style of their manufacture is typical of Byzantine jewelry, and they date from around 1100.

Another extremely rare archaeological item was the so-called pseudo-coin, which was gilded and partially preserved.

Experts have established that this pseudo-coin was an imitation of the gold dinar of the Almohad dynasty (1147-1269). It was a fastener for clothes of the Scandinavian type.

Note that the treasure was discovered in an agricultural field near Hedeby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here, a thousand years ago, there was a city that was a major trading center in Northern Europe during the Viking Age.

Goods of all kinds passed through Hedeby, in addition, many goods were made right in the city, where there were many workshops, especially jewelers, blacksmiths and glaziers.


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