Thursday, June 1, 2023

Hoard of 1,000-year-old Viking coins unearthed in Denmark

Nearly 300 silver coins believed to be more than 1,000 years old have been discovered near a Viking fortress site in north-west Denmark, a museum has said.

The trove – lying in two spots not far apart – was unearthed by a girl who was metal-detecting in a cornfield last autumn.

“A hoard like this is very rare,” Lars Christian Norbach, the director of the North Jutland Museum, where the artefacts will go on display, told Agence France-Presse.

The trove includes Danish, Arab and Germanic coins as well as jewellery from Scotland or Ireland. Photograph: North Jutland Museum

The silver coins were found about 5 miles (8km) from the Fyrkat Viking ringfort, near the town of Hobro. From their inscriptions, they are believed to date back to the 980s.

The trove includes Danish, Arab and Germanic coins as well as pieces of jewellery originating from Scotland or Ireland, according to archaeologists. Norbach said the finds were from the same period as the fort, built by King Harald Bluetooth, and would offer a greater insight into the history of the Vikings.

There could be a link between the treasure – which the Vikings would bury during wars – and the fort, which burned down during the same period, he said.

Archaeologists have said they will continue digging next autumn after the harvest. They hope to find the burial sites and homes of the troves’ one-time owners.

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People working at the site.
People working at the site. Photograph: North Jutland Museum

The Vikings believed that burying their treasure allowed them to find it again after death.

The artefacts will go on public display from July at the Aalborg Historical Museum. The girl who made the discovery will receive financial compensation, the amount of which has not been made public.

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