Monday 1/17/22
NORDICS

Eleventh-century rare gold earring found in Danish field

The jewel is probably from the Middle East, according to experts
HANDOUT - Eleventh-century gold earring found in Danish field. A rare 11th-century golden earring, presumably from the Middle East, has been found in Denmark, the National Museum of Denmark announced on Sunday. Photo: Søren Greve/Nationalmuseet/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only in connection with the latest coverage and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full.
A rare 11th-century golden earring, presumably from the Middle East, has been found in Denmark, the National Museum of Denmark announced on Sunday. Photo: Søren Greve/Nationalmuseet/dpa.

A rare 11th-century golden earring, presumably from the Middle East, has been found in Denmark, the National Museum of Denmark announced on Sunday.

The piece of jewellery was discovered by Frants Fugl Vestergaard, with the help of a metal detector, in a field in West Jutland.

It is the first discovery of such an object in Scandinavia, the Copenhagen museum said in a statement.

The earring probably originated in Byzantium or Egypt and is thought to be a gift from the emperor of Byzantium to a Viking chieftain, it added. It will be on display at the museum from Monday.

"It is completely unique for us," said museum expert Peter Pentz. "We know of only 10 to 12 other specimens worldwide and we have never found one in Scandinavia."

Surprise

The Vikings brought back thousands of silver coins from their forays, travels and trading expeditions, but hardly any jewellery, Pentz said.

He expressed surprise at the discovery site, as there was no known Viking site nearby. Gold from Byzantium had previously been found as burial objects in Viking graves.

The earring consists of a crescent-shaped gold plate inlaid with enamel in a frame of gold threads decorated with small gold balls and gold bands. The motif is two stylized birds around a plant symbolizing the tree of life.

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