Double Hoard of Viking Treasures Discovered Near Harald I of Denmark's Fort

Double Hoard of Viking Treasures Discovered Near Harald I of Denmark's Fort

A metal hunter has unearthed a double hoard of Viking treasure in a field in Denmark; it contained coins issued during the reign of the powerful Danish king Harald “Blue Tooth” (Harald Bluetooth).

Silver coins and jewelery unearthed from a field on Denmark’s Jutland peninsula reveal new insight into the reign and religious ambitions of the powerful Viking king Harald “Blue Tooth”, according to archaeologists.

This double hoard of Viking treasure contains around 300 pieces of silver, including around 50 coins and cut jewellery, which were discovered late last year.

A local archeology group investigated a farm northeast of the town of Hobro and near Fyrkat, a ring fort built by Harald I of Denmark around AD 980, according to a press release from North Jutland Museumsfrom Denmark.

Excavations show that the valuables were originally buried in two hoards, about 30 meters apart, probably under two now-defunct buildings. Since then, these hoards have been scattered by agricultural machinery, scrie Live Science.

It appears that the person who buried the treasure deliberately divided it up in case one of the treasures was lost, said Torben Trier Christiansen, an archaeologist involved in the discovery and curator at the North Jutland Museums.

Although some publications reported that the hoards were first found by a little girl, the first of the treasures was actually located by an adult woman using a metal detector. “But she’s very flattered,” Trier said.

Coins from this double hoard of Viking treasures helped spread Christianity in Denmark

Many of the pieces are “hacksilber,” meaning silver jewelry cut into pieces and traded by weight. But a few are silver coins, which archaeologists have determined came from Arab and Germanic countries, as well as Denmark.

See also  UN experts say China forcing Tibetans into 'vocational training'

Danish coins are of interest to archaeologists because they include “cross coins” struck during the reign of Harald “Blue Tooth” in the 970s and 980s. Harald had converted from Norse pagan beliefs to Christianity, and the spread of his new religion was part of the plan to unify the warring Viking tribes of Denmark.

“Putting crosses on coins was part of his strategy. He paid the local aristocracy with these coins to set a precedent during a transitional period where people also valued the old gods,” Trier said.

Both hoards also contain parts of a very large silver brooch that would have been worn by a king or noble and was probably captured in a Viking raid. But this style of brooch was not worn on Harald I’s lands, but instead was cut into several pieces of hacksilber, Trier said.

Archaeologists will return to the site later this year, Trier added, hoping to learn more about the Viking Age (AD 793 – 1066) buildings that were once there.

Why was Harald called “Blue Tooth”?

Archaeologists are not sure how Harald I of Denmark got his nickname “Blue Tooth”; some historians suggest that he may have had a prominent decayed tooth, as the Norse word for “blue tooth” translates to “blue-black tooth”.

His nickname has survived to this day and is used in the Bluetooth wireless communications standard (“blue tooth” in English), which aims to unify communications between different devices. Harald unified Denmark and for a time was also king of part of Norway; he reigned until 985 or 986, when he died fighting a rebellion led by his son, Svend I of Denmark, who succeeded him as king.

See also  What Are Prime Numbers, and Why Do They Matter?

Harald I gave the cross coins as gifts

Jens Christian Moesgaard, a numismatist at the University of Stockholm (Sweden), who was not involved in the discovery, said that the Danish coins appear to have appeared at the end of Harald I’s reign; foreign currency data does not contradict this.

“This new double hoard of Viking treasure brings important new evidence to support our interpretations of Harald’s coins and power,” he said. Coins were probably distributed at the newly built fort at Fyrkat.

“It is indeed very likely that Harald used these coins as gifts for his men to ensure their loyalty,” he observed.

The crosses on the coins suggest that Christianity was an important part of the king’s plan. “Through Christian iconography, Harald also spread the message of the new religion on this occasion,” Moesgaard said.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

On Key

Related Posts

Two-facedness sucks!

The results of a new study have been published. Accordingly, it was understood that “bees, like chimpanzees, have the ability of cultural transmission”. Bees can