A novice metal prospector finds the world's richest Viking treasure
At the beginning of 2021, Ole Ginnerup Schytz bought himself a metal detector in order to pursue one of his favorite hobbies: his love of archaeology. A friend gave him permission to hang out in a field on his property. A few hours later he returned with news that was confirmed a few weeks ago: he found one of the largest gold treasures in Denmark's pre-Viking history.
The site was subsequently excavated by professional archaeologists from Vejlemuseerne, in collaboration with experts from the National Museum and with funding from the Agency for Culture and Palaces. They managed to extract 22 unique objects of incalculable value.Lee también
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"Only a member of high society society could have collected a treasure like the one found here," explains Mads Ravn, Vejlemuseerne's head of research.
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The Vindelev Treasury consists of beautifully decorated, saucer-sized medallions. They are called bracteates. One of the finds is a bracteate that has a male head with a braid and several runes. Below the head is a horse and a bird with which the man communicates. There is a runic inscription between the horse's muzzle and forelegs, which according to preliminary interpretations reads 'houaʀ'; 'the tall'.
There are also Roman coins that have been turned into jewelry. They occur in a combination and with techniques of which comparable examples have never been seen.Lee también
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The treasure was found near Jelling in southwestern Denmark, which historians say became the cradle of Viking kings between the 8th and 12th centuries. It will be on display at the Vejle museum as part of the great Viking exhibition opening on February 3, 2022.
According to early examinations, the hoard may have been buried as an offering to Odin at a time of severe climate change, when temperatures turned very cold after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 covered the sky with clouds of ash. creating fear and famine.
"There are many symbols, some never seen before, that will allow us to further our knowledge of the people of this period," added a Ravn, amazed at the size of the find. In this sense, the researchers believe that the foundation of the Viking Age society and a united Danish kingdom lies in this period.Lee también