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Sci/Tech

Amateur archaeologists unearth Viking gold

Unique samples were among the 250 ancient coins found in Bornholm


X-ray scans revealed 250 gold and silver coins dating back to Viking days (Photo: Bornholms Museum)

April 29, 2014
13:46

by AJ


After hours of searching through the mud with metal detectors, amateur archaeologists Frank Pelle and Bent Gregersen made the discovery of their lives on a ploughed field in Bornholm earlier in April.

The two lucky gold-diggers found an ancient Viking gold treasure hidden in the ground.

"It was an amazing feeling, for we had searched for hundreds of hours without luck," Pelle told Ekstra Bladet.

Thousand-year-old treasure
After studying x-rays of collected earth samples, Bornholms Museum, the local archaeological museum, estimated that the treasure of 250 gold and silver coins was buried in the ground in the 1080s.

Some of the coins were brought to Denmark from Egypt and Tunisia and are extremely unique.

"That includes two Arabic gold dinars minted in 1040 in Egypt and in 1060 in Tunisia during the Fatimid dynasty respectively," said René Laursen from Bornholms Museum.

"Both are unique discoveries. We've never found Arabic gold dinar in a Viking treasure in Denmark."

The gold coins, which mostly remain in a clod of earth, are currently on display on Bornholm, but will soon be moved to the National Museum in Copenhagen to be totally extracted from the dirt and cleaned.



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