Danish amateur archaeologist unearths pre-Viking hoard

Updated / Monday, 6 Sep 2021 13:55

The objects were found by an amateur archaeologist (Image: Conservation Center Vejle)

An amateur archeologist has found 22 gold objects with sixth century symbols that could yield new details about pre-Viking peoples in Denmark, the museum that will house the treasure has said.

Some of the objects have runic motifs and inscriptions which may refer to the rulers of the time, but also recall Norse mythology, Mads Ravn, director of research at the Vejle museums in western Denmark, told AFP.

"It is the symbols on the items that makes them unique, more than the quantity found," according to Dr Ravn, who said the treasure weighed about one kilogram.

Hoard could reveal more details about pre-Viking peoples in Denmark (Image: Conservation Center Vejle)

One piece even refers to the Roman emperor Constantine from the early 4th century, said Dr Ravn.

"The find consists of a lot of gold items, including a medallion the size of a saucer," he added.

According to initial examinations, the treasure could have been buried as an offering to the gods at a chaotic time when the climate in northern Europe dramatically turned colder after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 sent ash clouds into the sky.

Treasure was found near Jelling (Image: Conservation Center Vejle)

"They have many symbols, some of which have not been seen before, which will enable us to enlarge our knowledge of the people of this period," he said.

The treasure was found near Jelling in southwestern Denmark, which historians say became a cradle for kings of the Viking-age which lasted between the 8th and 12th centuries.

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

Some of the objects have runic motifs and inscriptions (Image: Vejle Museums)

The amateur archeologist using a metal detector found the treasure about six months ago but the news was only disclosed now.