A Norwegian man using a metal detector found nine necklaces, three rings and 10 gold pearls that may have been worn by someone as showy jewelry 1,500 years ago.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — At first, the Norwegian man thought his metal detector was reacting to chocolate money buried in the soil. It turned out to be nine necklaces, three rings and 10 gold pearls that were probably worn by someone as showy jewelry 1,500 years ago.
The rare discovery was made this summer by Erlend Bohr, 51, on the southern island of Rensoy, near the city of Stavanger. Burr had bought his first metal detector earlier this year to practice his hobby after his doctor ordered him to go out instead of sitting on the couch.
Ole Madsen, director of the University of Stavanger’s Archaeological Museum, said finding “a lot of gold at the same time is very unusual.”
In August, Burr began scouring the mountainous island with his metal detector. A statement from the university said he initially found some junk, but later discovered something “completely unreal” – a treasure that weighed just over 100 grams (3.5 ounces).
Under Norwegian law, objects dating from before 1537, and coins older than 1650, are considered property of the state and must be surrendered.
Associate Professor Haakon Ryersen of the museum said the gold pendants – which are flat, thin, one-sided gold medallions called “bracteates” – date back to about AD 500, the so-called migration period in Norway, which extends between 400 and about 550 years ago, when there was migration. Widespread in Europe.
The gold pendants and pearls were part of a “very showy necklace” made by skilled goldsmiths and worn by the most powerful figures in society, Riersen said. “In Norway, a similar discovery has not been made since the 19th century, and it is also a very unusual discovery in the Scandinavian context,” he added.
An expert in such pendants, Professor Sigmund Ohrle from the same museum, said that about 1,000 gold pieces have been found so far in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
He said the symbols on the pendants usually show the Norse god Odin healing his son’s sick horse. Uhrl said that in Reinswee’s models, the horse’s tongue hangs on gold pendants, and its “slumped posture and crooked legs show that it is injured.”
He added, “The symbol of the horse represents illness and distress, but at the same time it represents hope for healing and new life.”
The find is scheduled to be displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Oslo.
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