Metal detectorist discovers gold treasure hoard
Gold pendants with rare horse symbols were detected on the island of Rennesoy in Stavanger, Norway.
A gold treasure hoard was detected on the island of Rennesoy in Stavanger, Norway.
Erlend Bore made the discovery on a private island, finding nine coin-like gold pendants with rare horse symbols, in addition to ten gold pearls and three gold rings being unearthed.
The local county council was contacted by Bore, who subsequently notified archeologists from the Archaeological Museum/ Jernaldergargen University of Stavanger.
What are the legalities?
It is worth noting that Norwegian law legalizes the use of metal detectors, as long as the landowner has given permission and the use complies with the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act 1978.
All objects dated before the year 1537, and coins older than the year 1650, are considered state property and must be declared to the relevant authorities.
How old are the gold pendants?
The gold pendants date from around AD 500 during the time of migration in Norway, according to associate professor Hakon Reiersen at the Archeological Museum.
Even though the pendants look like coins, they are "bracteaters," a decorative type of jewelry worn in the 5th to 7th century AD. It is worth noting that the gold used for bracteates mainly came from coins paid as peace money by the Roman Empire to their Northern Germanic neighbors.
“The nine bracteates and gold pearls have formed a very showy necklace. The jewelry was made by skilled jewelers and was worn by society’s most powerful. It is very rare to find so many bracteaters together. In Norway, no similar discovery has been made since the 19th century, and it is also a very unusual discovery in a Scandinavian context,” says Professor Reiersen.
Professor Sigmund Oehrl at the Archaeological Museum stated that the bracteates of this type are very rare and depict a previously unknown horse motif.
Moreover, most bracteates have Odin healing a horse belonging to his son, which in mythology was seen as a symbol of renewal and resurrection to give the wearer protection and good health. On the Rennesoy bracteates, however, only the horse is depicted.