Jan Bartek - AncientPages.com - Another fascinating ancient treasure has been discovered in Norway, but this one is something truly exceptional. Experts say it is the largest gold treasure of it is kind found in the country!
The lucky finder was 51-year-old Erlend Bore from Sola, who came across this priceless ancient treasure by chance on the southern island of Rennesoey, near the city of Stavanger.
Close-up of parts of the gold discovery that has been made. The coin gives a stylistic representation of a sick horse with its tongue hanging out of its mouth and a twisted body. PHOTO: ANNETTE GRÆSLI ØVRELID / ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, UIS
As a child, Erlend Bore wanted to be an archaeologist. So when his physiotherapist told him he must move more instead of sitting on the couch, he bought a metal detector and searched for archaeological objects, just as a hobby.
At the end of August this year, Bore went to Rennesøy.
After searching for hours and only finding an old 10 penny, he was about to pack up for the day.
He looked over the landscape and thought, "If this was long ago, where would I have been?"
"Then I saw a rock crag, which I would have climbed on if I were to walk from the sea and into the countryside on Rennesøy," Bore told the NRK.
He was only supposed to quickly search the place, but a huge signal suddenly went off from the detector.
After lifting the earth above, he saw something yellow. He was absolutely certain that it was an old chocolate paper he had found.
He picked it up in his hands to take a closer look at what looked like a lump.
This is some of the gold that was found. It is the largest gold treasure of its kind that has been found in Norway in over 100 years. PHOTO: ANNIKEN CELINE BERGER / ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, UIS
"Then the lump burst, and I was suddenly sitting with a gold treasure in my hands. There were lots of little gold pearls. Here, it was important to get everything and not lose anything," he says, laughing.
It turned out Bore had uncovered something that was "completely unreal," a treasure weighing a little more than 100 grams (3.5 oz).
Ole Madsen, director of the Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger, said that to find "so much gold at the same time is extremely unusual."
"This is the gold find of the century in Norway," Madsen said.
Bore's find consists of nine gold pendants with a round, coin-like object in the middle. All with a horse engraved in the middle. In addition, he found ten gold beads and three gold rings.
Associate professor Håkon Reiersen with the museum said the gold pendants—flat, thin, single-sided gold medals called bracteates—date from around A.D. 500, the so-called Migration Period in Norway, which runs between 400 and about 550, when there were widespread migrations in Europe.
The gold treasure is well preserved, and has several small details. The gold pendants have a horse engraved in the middle. PHOTO: ERIK WAAGE / NRK
The pendants and gold pearls were part of "a very showy necklace" that had been made by skilled jewelers and was worn by society's most powerful, said Reiersen. He added that "in Norway, no similar discovery has been made since the 19th century, and it is also a very unusual discovery in a Scandinavian context."
This is what the gold beads look like. PHOTO: ANNETTE GRÆSLI ØVRELID / ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, UIS
An expert on such pendants, professor Sigmund Oehrl with the same museum, said that about 1,000 golden bracteates have so far been found in Norway, Sweden and Denmark," the AFP reports.
Among the finds were three rings. PHOTO: ANNETTE GRÆSLI ØVRELID / ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, UIS
"It is very special that so many pieces of gold jewelry lie together. It is a discovery that no one has experienced for generations and has led to great ecstasy among us and the county council, Professor Reiersen said.
Erlend Bore with the gold treasure he found on Rennesøy in Stavanger. PHOTO: ERIK WAAGE / NRK
Reiersen says that similar discoveries have previously been made in Norway.
"But it was a long time ago. In the 6th century, there was a great crisis in Scandinavia. It was climate deterioration and presumably plague which has caused large parts of the population to die. Either these are hidden valuables during a troubled period or an offering to the gods," Professor Riersen explained.
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He is very happy that Bore did everything right and reported the find to the county council.
This precious ancient find will now be cleaned by the conservators at the museum.
"We want to get it on display in connection with a new exhibition on 15 September," says museum director Madsen.
Written by Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com Staff