A treasure dating back at least 1,500 years.
When a Norwegian local sought a new pastime, he likely didn’t expect that his fresh metal detecting hobby would lead him to a dazzling find: a 1,500-year-old necklace, shimmering with gold.
Initially dismissing his metal detector’s beeps as potential chocolate coins buried underground, he soon unearthed a trove of ancient ornaments: nine glittering pendants, three exquisite rings, and 10 luminous gold pearls. These pieces, dating back to 1,500 years ago, would have been statement jewelry of their time.
The incredible discovery was made on the southern island of Rennesoey, not far from the bustling city of Stavanger. Erlend Bore, the 51-year-old enthusiast, had only recently acquired the metal detector. A recommendation by his physician to be more outdoorsy saw him swapping his couch for the captivating terrains of Rennesoey.
An Unprecedented Find
Ole Madsen, the head honcho at the University of Stavanger’s Archaeological Museum, expressed that such a sizable gold discovery was a rarity. Embarking on his treasure-seeking adventures in August, Bore first stumbled upon inconsequential findings. However, luck soon favored him, revealing a trove weighing just over 100 grams (3.5 oz).
According to Norwegian regulations, objects predating 1537, and coins older than 1650, belong to the state and are to be surrendered.
Håkon Reiersen, an associate professor at the museum, highlighted the immense historical significance of the find. The ornate pendants, known as bracteates, hail from Norway’s Migration Period, circa A.D. 500, a time marked by extensive European migrations.
This flashy necklace, crafted masterfully, would’ve adorned society’s elites. Reiersen pointed out that such a find hadn’t graced Norway since the 1800s, making it a remarkable discovery in the broader Scandinavian spectrum.
Symbolism and Significance
Diving deeper into the pendants’ imagery, Professor Sigmund Oehrl, an authority on such artifacts, revealed that roughly 1,000 golden bracteates have been identified across Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. These artifacts often depict the Norse god Odin healing his son’s ailing horse. The ones from Rennesoey are no different, capturing the horse’s distress and the lingering hope of recovery.
Eager history buffs and curious visitors can soon view this breathtaking discovery at the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger, a city situated approximately 300 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Oslo.
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