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

By: Johnn Jin

Jane Foged Mønster, Louise Stahlschmidt, and Mette Norre Bækgaard made history in North Denmark late last year, finding Viking coins over 1,000 years old. The 300 coins were buried in two places 164 feet apart. The coins date back to Viking King Harald Blåtand, who reigned over a millennium ago from 970 to 980 CE.

The coins are marked with a cross, and the monarchy's currency before King Harald did not have the cross. Experts suspect it was added to spread Christianity among the Danes.

“A hoard like this is very rare,” said Lars Christian Norbach, the director of the North Jutland Museum, where the artifacts will go on display.

Archeologists told the metal detectors that they think the cut-up silver was stolen by the Vikings. They believe they chopped up the silver for payment in the old times, or maybe sell it to sailors or other people. Vikings believed that if they buried their valuables then after they passed away their spirits could find them again.

"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.

The treasure was likely buried when the area was abandoned. The monarch may have buried the treasure after being kicked out the castle and he buried the treasure, experts believe.

Once the harvesting season is over, the metal detectors will explore the area to see if there is more treasure, even though they do not expect there to be. They believe that valuables could be inside a nearby building. At Denmark's Aalborg Historical Museum you can see the silver coins by July 1!

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