Talk about beginner’s luck. A group of three amateur archeologists, aptly nicknamed “Team Rainbow Power,” have unearthed the largest viking gold discovery in the history of Denmark. This incredible discovery was found in a field in Jutland’s Vejen municipality. This spot was already the location of another significant discovery, when in 1910, there was a 67-gram gold chain uncovered.
Not only was this remarkable viking discovery so large, but the inexperienced “Team Rainbow Power” uncovered their findings in such a short period of time. Using metal detectors, the trio went to work in the field where the other infamous discovery was made. Within 10 minutes of working on the site, they found the first bracelet. Marie Aagaard Larsen, who was part of the trio, along with her husband, Christian Nedergaard Dreioee, and friend, Poul Noergaard Pedersen, found the experience “unreal.”
“We really felt that we had found the gold at the end of the rainbow when we found the first ring, but when more appeared it was almost unreal.”
Finding that they were in a bit over their heads after uncovering the first three bracelets in their astounding discovery, the amateur archeologists contacted Lars Grundvad from Sønderskov Museum. Lars was eager to assist the inexperienced group. He long suspected that there was a good possibility that more treasures were hidden deep in this same site where viking gold was uncovered just over a hundred years ago.
“At the museum, we had talked about how interesting it could be to check out the area with metal detectors because there was a 67-gramme gold chain found there back in 1911. But I would never in my wildest dreams have believed that amateur archaeologists could find seven Viking bracelets.”
While he believed this area may hold something else, never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that they would find seven bracelets.
“It is very special to find seven.”
The total weight of the discovery is about 900 grams, which is just under two pounds. This remarkable viking treasure discovered in Denmark consists of six gold and one silver bracelet. The valuable artifacts are estimated to be from around the year 900 CE. Previous to this discovery, most viking jewelry that was unearthed was only in silver. The amount of gold discovered is quite unusual, as it is historic.
According to Viking expert and curator at the National Museum in Denmark, Peter Pentz, the bracelets found are associated with the Viking elite. The believe is that they are “Oath rings,” identified as made in the “Jelling” style. The valuable pieces uncovered were most likely special honorary tokens given to loyal lieutenants by the Viking tribal chiefs. One of the great mysteries is why these bangles were buried and not stored in a different manner, but Pentz has his own theory that they were buried because of a ritual or because they planned to return.
“The treasure could have been buried in some sort of ritual in the 900s. But it may also be the case that the treasure was buried because someone wanted to take care of it, and then for some reason never retrieved it.”
Now the job for the National Museum in Copenhagen will be to solve the mystery as to exactly why the bracelets were found in this spot. A further investigation could expose the significance of this discovery and can certainly further educate archeologists about previously unknown Viking customs.
Viking enthusiasts will soon be able to view this astonishing collection at the Sønderskov Museum. Eventually, the treasure will head over to the National Museum in Copenhagen so they can begin to study the valuable artifacts.
[Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images]