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Finding a medieval treasure

German teenager finds treasure linked to 10th century Danish King Harald Bluetooth

Harald Bluetooth treasure - image by Christian Sauer/AFP

A simple technique such as scanning a field with metal detectors helped to discover one of the most significant treasures of the Middle Ages. In January, amateur archaeologist René Schön and his student, 13-year-old teenager Luca Malaschnitchenko, had found an ancient looking silver coin with the help of a metal detector on Germany's biggest island, Rügen.

The island of Rügen is located in north-eastern Germany and lies off the Pomeranian coast in the Baltic Sea.

To the hobby archeologists' surprise, experts quickly found out, that the coin once belonged to the Viking king, Harald Bluetooth. His treasure was believed to be buried in the area.

However, the treasure had to be kept a tight secret. Only in April, experts could come and dig up an area of about 400sq metres (4,300sq ft) - which is about the size of a basketball court to search for the treasure.

During the dig the expert archaeologists found the treasure: braided necklaces, a Thor's hammer, brooches, rings and about 600 coins. They all were probably left or buried in the area in the 980s.

"This trove is the biggest single discovery of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic sea region and is therefore of great significance," (Michael Schirren, lead archaeologist )

Harald Bluetooth was a Viking leader and king of Denmark and Norway. He is said to have introduced Christianity in the region during his reign. After losing a big sea battle against forces loyal to his son Sweyn Forkbeard, he fled to Pomerania, now in northern Germany. Bluetooth died in 987.

source: BBC

image: Stefan Sauer/AFP via BBC


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