Unique silver treasure found by schoolboy with metal detector

What was initially thought to be aluminium discs turned out to be a large silver hoard fully 1,000 years old

The Baltic island of Rugen, now in Germany, has proved to be a fertile hunting-ground for archaeologists and treasure hunters when it comes to finding relics of Denmark’s Viking past.

Back in January, Luca Malaschnitschenko, a 13-year-old schoolboy, amateur archaeologist and metal detectorist, was exploring a field together with a companion, when he found a piece of metal.

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At first Malaschnitschenko thought he’d just found some worthless pieces of aluminium, but it turned out to be three silver coins, reports DR Nyheder.

Further excavations carried out over the 400 square metre site by a larger team over the following three months brought to light around 600 silver coins and a number of Thor’s hammers, brooches, beads, rings and torques.

Harald on the run
The coins were minted between 910 and 987 and date back to the reign of King Harald Bluetooth.

At that time Harald was at war with his son, Sweyn Forkbeard, so it is possible that the hoard was buried by the king in his flight, but that cannot be proved. Harald was later killed after losing a battle at Helgenæs.

This is not the first discovery made in the area. In the early 1870s what is now known as the Hiddensee treasure was discovered. It consistedof a brooch, neckring and 14 pendents, all in gold, and was found by a local fisherman on the island of Hiddensee, a few kilometres from Rugen. It is also dated to the reign of Harald Bluetooth.