Friday, September 29, 2023

Man with metal detector finds gold jewelry from 1,500 years ago, but has to return it

At first, the Norwegian thought his metal detector had found buried chocolate coins. It turned out to be nine earrings, three rings and ten gold beads that someone may have used as eye-catching jewelry 1,500 years ago.

Erlend Bore, 51, was responsible for the discovery a few weeks ago on the island of Rennesoy, near the city of Stavanger. Bore bought his first metal detector as a hobby earlier this year after his doctor ordered him to go outside instead of sitting on the couch.

Ole Madsen, director of the Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger, said it was “extremely unusual” to find so much gold at once.

In early August, Bore began exploring the mountainous island with his metal detector. The university said in a statement that it initially found some scrap metal but later discovered something “completely unreal”: the treasure weighing just over 100 grams (3.5 ounces).

According to laws in Norway, items older than 1537 and coins older than 1650 are considered state property and must be returned to the authorities.

Museum member, Associate Professor Håkon Reiersen, said the gold earrings – thin, flat gold medals with one-sided images called bracteates – date from around 500 AD. BC, in the so-called migration period in Norway, which is between the years 400 and 500, when there were widespread migrations in Europe.

The gold earrings and pearls were part of a “very eye-catching necklace” made by skilled jewelers and worn by an influential member of society at the time, Reiersen said. He added that “a similar discovery has not been made in Norway since the 19th century and it is also a very unusual discovery in the Scandinavian context.”

An expert on such earrings, Professor Sigmund Oehrl from the same museum, said that about 1,000 gold bracteates have been found so far in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

He said the symbols on the earrings usually depicted the Norwegian god Odin healing his son’s sick horse. In Rennesey’s case, the horse’s tongue sticks out of its gold earrings and its “slumped posture with bowed legs shows that it is injured,” Oehrl said.

“The symbol of the horse symbolized illness and suffering, but at the same time the hope for healing and a new life,” he added.

The plan is to display the find at the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Oslo.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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