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Amateur Metal Hunters Find 1,000-Year-Old Viking Coins in Denmark

By: Hunter Ding

Denmark has an interesting history, with the Viking conquest and absolute monarchy in 1660 and the British blowing everything up at Copenhagen during the Napoleonic Wars. Three metal hunters have inadvertently become a part of this rich history after discovering some 1000-year-old Viking coins in Hobro, North Denmark. On holiday, a trio of treasure hunters– Jane Foged Mønster, Louise Stahlschmidt, and Mette Norre Bækgaard– found a trove of coins in Hobro, North Denmark.

Experts believe that the coins date back to the reign of Viking King Harald Blåtand. They have crosses on one side, suggesting it was used to spread Christianity among the Danes. What makes the discovery of the trove so significant is the fact that it was so close to a Viking settlement– “The two silver treasures constitute a fantastic story in themselves, but to find them abandoned in a settlement only eight kilometers from Harald Blåtand’s Viking fortress Fyrkat is incredibly exciting,” says Nordjyske Museums archeologist Torben Trier Christiansen.

Those artifacts could likely bring us to the cusp of another major historical discovery. Museum officials are already making plans to investigate the area as soon as harvesting season is over. Though they do not expect to find any more treasures, they do hope to unearth an ancient building or structure.

Scientific discoveries tend to be taken more seriously than historical ones. Take Albert Einstein. He’s one of the most celebrated scientists of all time, but for inventing the theory of relativity, a subject well beyond the typical science student. We can all recite E=mc², but most of us barely know what those variables stand for and what they are. Relativity is an advanced topic. On the other hand, knowing about the history of Rome shows up quite early in one’s curriculum, but it would be quite hard-fought to find out anyone among the people who analyzed the documents and concluded that Rome existed. Why am I bringing this up, you may wonder. The thing is, a find like the coins, though it has the potential for high significance, would pale in comparison to other world events, and though we know the names of those treasure hunters now, it’s highly likely that they would end up in obscurity. Not saying that history has more importance than science or the other way around, but if they are meant to be equally valued, then we can at least try to act like it is so. So many years later into the future, historical events would perhaps change, then distort, then fade entirely– unlike science, which would not fade until every single scientific discovery has been devised.

History is said to be of the past, but science shapes the future. However, history no less molds the future than science. Assume that Caligula’s tyranny and Hitler’s dictatorship and Osama bin Laden’s hatred were pushed aside as water behind the bridge. If we reject history entirely, then all science could produce would be simply used as lethal instruments to be put in the hands of people to turn twisted thoughts into reality more horrendous than their initial ideas. I don’t want to get into human nature here, but those who ignore that past are doomed to repeat it. An important reason that society isn’t spiraling into chaos is that many of us know what mistakes would make things deteriorate out of our control. We live in an age thousands of years since humanity’s rise. So many millennia of lessons, and they can’t be trivial. History and science both bring us the future. Both should be credited equally.

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