Ellen Lloyd - AncientPages.com - There are still many beautiful Viking Age treasures waiting to be discovered and one of them has just been unearthed on a farm close to Stockholm in Sweden.
Archaeologists are used to discovering old historical artifacts but finding an ancient silver treasure is a bit of a dream.
Credit: The Archaeologists and Acta Konserveringscentrum - Image compilation: AncientPages.com
“This is something you probably only experience once in a lifetime”, says Maria Lingström at The Archaeologists, National Historical Museums in Sweden.
While excavating in Viggbyholm, Täby, outside Stockholm, archaeologists found more than 20 houses and buildings, the earliest dating from around 400 A.D, continuing into the Viking Age (800–1050 AD) and early Middle Ages.
Cleaning one of the torque-style neck rings. Credit: Acta Konserveringscentrum
This was not surprising because it was long assumed this particular area had been inhabited for several hundred years.
Scientists knew this spot had once been a Viking village, but what was really hidden beneath the ground was a mystery.
While examining the ground with a metal detector, scientists suddenly noticed something was buried beneath the soil.
Coin from Normandie. Credit: Acta Konserveringscentrum AB
Finally, they found an urn that contained eight silver necklaces, bracelets and several coins from different countries.
– When I started to carefully remove the neck rings one by one, I had this extraordinary feeling of “they just keep coming and coming”. In total there were eight high quality torque-style neck rings, extraordinary well preserved despite having been made and deposited almost a thousand years ago. They looked almost completely new”, Maria Lingström says.
The coins had been deposited in a pouch made of linen and the jewelry was inside the urn.
The Viking Age silver treasure found near Stockholm. Credit: Acta Konserveringscentrum AB
“The coins are a perfect example of the far-reaching connections and blossoming trade, which flourished in Viking Age Scandinavia. Several coins are of European origin, representing countries as England, Bohemia, and Bavaria. In addition, the treasure consisted of five Arabic coins, so called dirhams. One of the European coins is extremely rare and was minted in the city of Rouen, in Normandy, France. It dates to approximately the 10th Century AD. According to Professor Jens Christian Moesgaard at Stockholm University, this type of coin has previously ever been identified from drawings in an 18th century book,” the Archaeologists in Sweden report.
Why the inhabitants of the Viking village decided to hide some of their most valuable objects and bury them in the ground, is at the moment unclear, but several theories exist.
See also: More About Archaeology
In an interview with the Swedish Television, archaeologists Magnus Lindberg said it’s possible those who buried the treasure intended to pick return for it later.
Perhaps difficult and tumultuous times forced the inhabitants to hide their valuable objects. We may never know, but we do know the discovery of this more than 1,000-year-old treasure was unexpected.
Written by Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com