Conny Waters - AncientPages.com - Located in the Baltic Sea, Saaremaa is the largest Estonian island. Archaeologists can now investigate two large hoards of silver coin that will offer new light on Vikings’ presence on the island.
The archaeological discovery was made by a licensed hobby detector, who reported the findings to the Heritage Protection Board.
Some of the silver coins and other finds dating from viking-era Saaremaa. Source: Saaremaa museum
According to EER Estonia, “two separate hoards were found. One of these dating to the second half of the 10th century contained silver coins which came via the Viking trade route which crossed the Baltic from the present-day Swedish island of Gotland to Saaremaa's southern coast, and then on to Lääne County and on to present-day Tallinn.”
Among the coins was also a 1,700-year-old gold bracelet that may be of Viking origin. During the Viking Age in Estonia, the area of Estonia was divided between two distinct cultural areas – Northern and Western Estonia and Southeastern Estonia.
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Saaremaa was the wealthiest county of ancient Estonia which could easily explain why this place has the most precious finds of Viking treasures after Gotland in Sweden. Based on the archaeological discoveries, one can picture that Estonia was an important transit country during the Viking era.
Source: Saaremaa museum
The silver coins discovered now were likely to have been buried during upheaval or conflict in the region, as was the case with the other hoard from the Lümanda-Kihelkonna area. Both point to destruction and upheaval in particular parts of Saaremaa in the second quarter of the 11th century.
Source: Saaremaa museum
The find is significant as it gives scientists an excellent opportunity to construct Saaremaa's Viking-era history.
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Another exciting archaeological discovery occurred in September this year when metal detector hobbyist Jegor Klimov found a substantially-sized gold bracelet, amber brooches, locally-made luxury amber brooches, silver and silver-plated brooches and a Scandinavian silver-plated belt, at a 1,700year-old sacrificial site.
Combining all these findings we can learn much more about Vikings’ presence in Estonia.
Written by Conny Waters - AncientPages.com Staff Writer