Members of the North Jutland Detector Association in Denmark found two Viking Age treasures near the town of Hobro in the Northern Denmark region. Archaeologists believe that the coins in the treasures are about 1040 years old.
Hobro is a town located in the northern part of the Jutland Peninsula. It is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Aalborg.
According to a recent article by Nordjyske Museer, a group of metal detector enthusiasts from the North Jutland Detector Association (Nordjysk Detektorforening) made an incredible discovery on a field near Hobro, in the autumn of last year.1 The team uncovered two Viking treasures buried just meters apart from each other, containing a large number of small silver coins and cut-up silver jewelry that were most likely used as a form of payment by weight. Archaeologists say these treasures date back to the 980s, based on coins minted during the Harald Blåtand era.
It was announced that the two treasures contained numerous pieces of silver, including approximately 50 whole coins. However, due to modern farming and seeding activities, the treasures were disturbed and scattered across a larger area, making it difficult for archaeologists to determine with absolute certainty which of the coins found in the field belong to which treasure. Nonetheless, archaeologists say it is clear that both treasures contain a mix of German, Arab and Danish coins.
According to the researchers, the discovery of Viking Age treasures offers valuable insights into the economic and trade systems of the period. The artifacts found demonstrate the importance of trade networks in connecting distant societies and the vital role of silver as a medium of exchange.
The treasures contain German, Arab and Danish coins, providing evidence of the extent of Viking trade relations, particularly with the Middle East. Historians say these trade networks allowed for the exchange of goods and currencies across vast distances, highlighting the interconnectedness of Viking Age Europe and the wider world.
In addition to coins, the treasures also include silver jewelry likely used as a means of payment by weight, underscoring the importance of silver as a medium of exchange in Viking Age society.
Coins Show Christianity’s Influence on Danish Society
The most noteworthy items that caught the attention of archaeologists were the Danish coins believed to date back to the reign of King Harald Blåtand. Because, these coins offer insights into Denmark’s transition from a pagan to a Christian society, which occurred during Harald Blåtand’s rule from around 958 to 987.
Harald Blåtand played a crucial role in this transition by unifying Denmark and introducing Christianity to the country. During his reign, he introduced a new coin system bearing his name and a Christian symbol that symbolized the country’s new faith.
The coins are important as they provide tangible evidence of the cultural, social and economic changes that took place in Denmark during this period. They also offer valuable insight into how the introduction of Christianity impacted people’s daily lives, such as trade and commerce.
Treasures Shed Light on the History of the Region
The treasures from the Viking-era have recently been found near Hobro, offering new perspectives on the history of the region. It is believed that these valuable finds, which include coins and other artifacts, were probably buried around the same time when Harald Blåtand was constructing the nearby Fyrkat Viking site or shortly after Fyrkat was abandoned.
The discovering of the aforementioned Viking treasures serves as a reminder of the richness and complexity of Viking-era society and culture. As further analysis and research is conducted on these treasures and the area where they are found, it is certain that more will be learned about the people who lived in this region over a thousand years ago.
Officials from Nordjyske Museer announced that excavations in the area will continue in the fall. They also added that the coins found so far will be on display at the museum starting from next July.1
Fyrkat, an ancient Viking fortress situated near the town of Hobro, dates back to the 980 AD. The fortress was built during the reign of Harald Blåtand, who was the King of Denmark and Norway at the time. It is believed to have been constructed in response to the increasing threats from neighboring Germanic tribes and the need to control the trade routes in the Limfjord region.
Apart from being a military stronghold, Fyrkat also functioned as a bustling center for trade and commerce. Excavations at the site have uncovered a diverse range of artifacts such as coins, jewelry, weapons, combs and needles. These findings indicate that those in Fyrkat were a thriving community with access to goods from all over Europe.
However, Fyrkat is believed to have been abandoned in the early 11th century, around the time of Denmark’s conversion to Christianity. The decline of the Viking Age, as well as the growing influence of the Christian church, are thought to have played a role in the fortress’s abandonment.
Fyrkat, a prominent archaeological site in Denmark, lay in ruins for centuries until its rediscovery in the 19th century. Following this discovery, numerous excavations and restorations have been undertaken, providing valuable insights into the Viking Age settlement.
- “Hele to vikingeskatte fundet nær Fyrkat“, Nordjyske Museer, nordjyskemuseer.dk, Retrieved 2023.04.21