Spectacular Viking hoard found near Vordingborg

A horde of silver coins found in southern Zealand reveals a great deal about Viking trading patterns

At the weekend, two very lucky men with metal-detectors were out prospecting in a field near Kalvehave Church. Suddenly, they received a strong signal.

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Soon, they had uncovered a number of silver coins and could see that there were more further down, Ekstra Bladet reports.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, when archaeologists from south-east Denmark’s Museum came on the scene and continued where the men had left off. So far, 130 coins have now been recovered, Sanne Jakobsen of the museum told the paper.

Truly international even then
Jakobsen said that they had not yet had time to examine them in detail, but there were coins from England, Germany and Holland – although the majority were English.

“They are from the Viking age and this was a huge fortune. Perhaps it belonged to a merchant who felt threatened and was being persued. Maybe he sailed ashore and buried the coins. We can only guess as to why he did not come back later to retrieve them,” Jakobsen said.

More than just silver
The coins have been classified as treasure trove, which means that the two lucky finders will probably be paid the value of the silver. But they represent much more than just mere metal.

“These coins can tell an exciting story – a story which tells us something of the connection to the Baltic, which was one of the great trade-routes of the Viking period. It also tells us that southern Zealand and Kalvehave were more than just ploughed fields. The coins are mostly foreign, so it also says something about international relations,” Jakobsen added

When the conservators have finished with them, the coins will be exhibited in Vordingborg Museum.