A century-old Christian cross was discovered in Denmark earlier this month by amateur archaeologist Dennis Fabricus Holm in Anslev, Østfyn, according to an article by the Christian Post. Actually, the cross was over a century old, the small, almost perfectly preserved Christian cross was estimated to be 1,100-years-old. On FaceBook, Holm had written that he had gotten off work early one day and decided to go exploring in Anslev with his metal detector when he came across the small cross. At this time, Holm’s FB page is set to private but others have posted about his amazing find.
As seen in the photo in the FB post above, and the video, the cross includes an intricate design of gold beading and shows a figure on a cross. A similar figure was found in Sweden, which is also shown in the FB post. Historians say that the cross was most likely worn by a Viking woman who had converted to Christianity. Experts believe the cross predates the time Christianity first appeared in Denmark. An article posted in The Local said that Holm had spoken to national broadcaster DR, about finding the cross and told them, “I finished work early last Friday, so I decided to spend a couple of hours searching with my metal detector.”
“Suddenly I hit upon something. Ever since I turned over the clump of earth and saw the cross, I’ve been unable to think of anything else.”
The Local also reported that Malene Refshauge Beck, an archaeologist with East Funen Museums (Østfyns Museer) also told the broadcaster that she agreed that the necklace is likely to prove to be a memorable discovery.
“This is a sensational find that dates from the first half of the 10th century BCE,” Beck told DR. Beck also mentioned the nearly identical figure shown in the FB post as well. Beck said that the discovery of the cross might result in the date Danes were believed to have become Christian to be reconsidered and that the wearer was most likely Christian.
“The person who wore it would undoubtedly have adhered to the Christian faith.”
The Local article mentioned that Beck also said that this new discovery was, by far, the most well-preserved and clear, as opposed to other pieces and fragments of jewelry that had been discovered in the past. The century-old cross also predates the Jelling Stone, a giant carved rune stone from the year 965 that is supposedly the “earliest Danish representation of Jesus on the cross.”
An article from IB Times described the century-old cross as being small — it was 4.1 centimeters tall. The front side is a figure that presumably depicts Jesus, and the back of the cross is smooth. IBT mentioned other artifacts found in Denmark from the same era that resembled hammers, most likely inspired by the hammer of the god Thor. Thor, a Norse god, was depicted as wielding a hammer and was thought to control thunder and lightning.
Christian missionaries tried to convert the Danes for centuries, according to IBT, and the Vikings supposedly resisted their attempts. Because of Christian trading, Danes mostly adopted Christianity by 1050 CE, which was the end of the Viking era, according to the IBT article. The century-old Christian cross discovered by Holm seems to prove that Christianity was accepted in Denmark before this period.
The FB post further quoted Ms. Beck, she said that “The figure can therefore help to advance the time when one considers that the Danes really were Christians.”
“In recent years there has been more and more signs that Christianity was widespread earlier than previously thought – and here [is] the clearest evidence so far.”
Holm was evidently excited about the discovery, he told TV2/Fyn that he had hardly slept and went on to say how overwhelming the discovery was.
“It has been very overwhelming. I have not yet grasped that find’s influence on Denmark’s history. It is hard to comprehend.”
[Image Via YouTube]