curiosmos
Archaeology

Rare Viking Treasures Unearthed Near Fyrkat Fortress

The Fyrkat Treasure. Nordjyske Museer.
published

A group of metal detector enthusiasts have stumbled upon two impressive Viking treasures near the Viking fortress of Fyrkat. The discoveries are believed to be significant archaeological finds and have the potential to reveal new insights into the Viking age.

Metal Detectorists Uncover Two Remarkable Viking Treasures

A group of metal detectorists from Nordjysk Detektorforening recently discovered two remarkable Viking treasures near the Viking fortress of Fyrkat. Both hoards contained numerous silver coins, cut-up silver jewelry, and silver fragments, likely used for payment by weight. In total, the two hoards held up to 300 pieces of silver, with approximately 50 whole coins among them.

The Significance of the Coins Discovered

The hoards contained a mixture of Danish, German, and Arab coins. Among them, the Danish cross coins, minted under King Harald Bluetooth in the 970s-80s, have drawn particular attention from archaeologists. Harald Bluetooth likely introduced these cross coins as propaganda during the Christianization of the Danes, making them an intriguing part of Denmark’s history.

The Loot from Looting: Viking Raids and Stolen Jewelry

In addition to the coins, the treasures included ornate silver jewelry fragments, probably originating from Viking raids. Weighing approximately 70 grams, these pieces were once part of an unusually large ring pin, typically worn by high-ranking individuals in Viking Age Ireland and neighboring islands. It is believed that the Danish Vikings valued the silver jewelry primarily for its weight, leading to the ring pin being chopped into pieces and used for payment or melted down into new Scandinavian-style jewelry.

Uncovering the Mystery of the Bramslev Settlement

What sets these Viking treasures apart is their location: they were found in a settlement near the ancient Fyrkat fortress. Archaeologist Torben Trier Christiansen believes that the treasures’ proximity to Fyrkat is incredibly exciting and may offer clues about the local history and unrest at the time.

Unraveling the Connection to Fyrkat and the Power Struggle

The Fyrkat fortress, built by Harald Bluetooth, was only used for a short time, around 980 AD. The reason for its abandonment is unknown, but there is evidence of battles at a similar site. Christiansen suggests that the treasures’ burial may be linked to the power struggle between Harald Bluetooth and his son, Svend Tvesk√¶g, and the ensuing unrest at Fyrkat.

Bramslev’s Role in Fyrkat’s Defense and the Viking Age

The strategic location of Bramslev, overlooking large parts of Mariagerfjord’s inner areas, implies that the settlement played a significant role in Fyrkat’s defense. According to Christiansen, the hill at Bramslev would have allowed residents to quickly warn Fyrkat’s troops against incoming enemy fleets from the Kattegat.

Excavating Bramslev’s Viking History and Future Investigations

Archaeologists from North Jutland Museums are eager to learn more about the Viking settlement at the site where the treasures were found. Although no more silver treasures are expected to be discovered, upcoming investigations will focus on the traces of buildings and determining if they were ordinary Viking houses or held deeper historical significance connected to the buried treasures.