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Viking Silver Treasure Hoard Uncovered

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Viking Silver Treasure Hoard Uncovered

The Vikings, a clan of seafaring Norse raiders, thrived primarily between the 8th and 11th centuries. Therefore, it's not altogether surprising that much of the centuries-old treasure and artifacts uncovered in Northern Europe and the British Isles are of Viking origin. In fact, "Viking" is roughly the Old English word for "pirate."

Just recently, on the German island of Sylt in the North Sea, an impressive hoard of Viking treasure—jewelry, coins, and ingots made of silver—was discovered this summer.

The hoard contains a total of 180 individual pieces of silver for an aggregate weight of one kilogram. It was uncovered in a farm field where one silver brooch was found and later analyzed in 2015. Many of the relics in this latest find are bracelets and rings similar to the type found in other caches of Viking artifacts (see, below), all estimated to be more than 1,000 years old by archaeologists studying the area.

viking treasure Other Viking treasure, found in Britain. Photo: Alastair Grant / AP

What's perhaps most remarkable is the size of the discovery. According to reports in the English-language news from Germany, it ranks as one of the largest hoards of medieval and particularly Viking silver ever found in the Schleswig-Holstein area, and the old farms of Sylt have their own growing reputation for medieval treasure: Similar rarities were found on the island in recent years.

The hoard will now be showcased in a permanent exhibit at the State Archaeological Museum in Schlewswig, Germany.

 

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