Discovery of a Lifetime
An amateur metal detectorist in Norway has stumbled upon what could be the nation’s most significant ancient gold find in over a hundred years. The Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger recently announced the discovery of around 100 grams of gold artifacts, dating back more than 1,500 years. This astonishing find was made on the island of Rennesøy in southwestern Norway.
A Stroke of Luck
The remarkable discovery was made by Erlend Bore, a 51-year-old hobbyist who purchased his metal detector just a year ago. Bore had been scanning the beach on Rennesøy but with little success. It was when he moved to higher ground that he stumbled upon the treasure. At first, Bore mistook the golden pendants for chocolate coins or pirate currency, but upon further examination, he realized their true value.
Unraveling the Mystery
The gold artifacts, known as ‘bracteaters,’ were not ancient coins as initially thought. They were, in fact, exquisite pieces of jewelry from around 500 AD. Accompanying the bracteaters were round gold pearls, creating a stunning necklace fit for the elite of society. Historians believe that these pieces were worn by the most powerful individuals of the time. The craftsmanship and design of the jewelry indicate the work of skilled artisans.
A Unique Find
What sets this discovery apart is not just the quantity of gold but also the intricate designs on the pendants. Most bracteaters typically depict the god Odin healing a sick horse, but these gold disks solely feature the elegant horse design. Håkon Reiersen, an associate professor at the museum, remarked that such a find is exceptionally rare, with nothing similar discovered in Norway since the 19th century. The discovery has also created excitement among archaeologists in Rogaland County Municipality.
Under Norwegian law, objects dating back to 1537 and coins before 1650 are regarded as state property and must be reported and handed over to the authorities. However, finders of loose cultural heritage are entitled to a finder’s fee, which is evenly split between the finder and the landowner. The Archaeological Museum has yet to determine the value of Bore’s discovery.