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HomeAnimals & HumansMetallic detectorist stumbles throughout Viking treasure hoard in Norway

Metallic detectorist stumbles throughout Viking treasure hoard in Norway


Within the ninth century A.D., this treasure may need purchased half a cow. (Picture credit score: Brigit Maixner)

Many individuals dream of discovering buried treasure, however only a few folks truly do. For one man in central Norway that dream turned a actuality simply earlier than Christmas final yr, when he took his metallic detector for a stroll in a area close to his dwelling and unearthed a hoard of silver fragments from the Viking Age.

At first, Pawel Bednarski wasn’t positive of the worth of the fragments he’d discovered buried below simply a few inches of soil. There have been a pair of rings, what seemed like chopped-up Arabic cash and fragments of a silver bracelet, amongst different items. However when he reached out to native historians and archaeologists, the reality turned clear: This was a major discover.

“It has been a few years since such a big Viking treasure was present in Norway,” Birgit Maixner (opens in new tab), an archaeologist at Norway’s College of Science and Expertise (NTNU) in Trondheim, stated in a assertion (opens in new tab).

This ring kind is commonly present in treasure finds, however not generally in Viking Age burials. So it is probably that these rings had been used as a kind of fee, as an alternative of knickknack. (Picture credit score: Brigit Maixner)

Associated: 2 Viking swords buried upright may need linked the useless to Odin and Valhalla

The silver fragments date again round 1,100 years to the eighth and ninth centuries — through the Viking Age, which lasted for about 200 years between the ninth and eleventh centuries. The fragmentation of the objects means that these items weren’t simply private belongings however had been additionally used as cash. Vikings operated below a so-called bullion economic system somewhat than a bartering economic system, which signifies that somewhat than buying and selling good-for-good, similar to a sheep for a cow, they traded items of valuable metals at set weights for items. Minted cash weren’t generally utilized in Norway till the late ninth century.

The cut-up Arab cash that got here from the hoard. (Picture credit score: Brigit Maixner)

Bowl scales similar to this one helped folks through the Viking Age weigh valuable metals for his or her weight-based economic system. These scales had been unearthed in a burial mound at Bjørkhaug in Steinkjer, Norway. (Picture credit score: Åge Hojem)

The burden system “was in use within the transition between the barter economic system and the coin economic system,” Maixner stated.

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