HomeScience and ResearchScientific ResearchArchaeologists Find A Rare Piece Of Gilded Viking Sword - “Dream Find”

Archaeologists Find A Rare Piece Of Gilded Viking Sword – “Dream Find”

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Only a few swords of this sort have been discovered in Norway, and the most recent find, which was most likely imported, is among the best, clearly belonging to a man of power and wealth.

Two metal detectorists and history aficionados discovered a gilded Viking sword decorated with a typical animal motif from the Late Iron Age in a field near the Norwegian city of Stavanger in the southern portion of the nation.

Experts believe the remarkable find dates from the early 800s, when the Viking Age was just beginning.

The ornate sword grip is rich in gold and silver decorations, but the blade has most likely dissolved.

It was a “dream find,” says archaeologist Zanette Glrstad of the University of Stavanger. Only 15-20 swords of this sort have been discovered in Norway, and the most recent find is among the best.

“We find many swords, but this is exceptional. The advanced décor indicates that it was imported from what was then the Frankish Empire or from the British Isles .”

Erik Alve, who discovered the blade, recalled a euphoric feeling that he compared to “catching a giant fish.”

“I have been doing this for four or five years, and found a lot of fun. A gold ring from the Middle Ages, among other things, but this is probably the coolest thing I have done, and I will hardly top it ,” his friend and fellow detectorist Jone Holgersen remarked.
According to Glrstad, it is doubtful that the sword was used in combat.

“It has probably rather been a status symbol, man’s jewellery,” she speculated, “and it must have belonged to a very resourceful owner.”

The site outside of Jtt is recognized for several important Viking Age artifacts, notably the so-called Gausel Queen’s grave, which is one of Norway’s wealthiest women’s graves. Numerous artefacts from the British Isles have been discovered over the years.

“It shows that the area was a central hub in the North Sea. The sword indicates that we are dealing with a ruler figure with a large network of contacts, akin to the Gausel Queen,” she explained.

Not far from here, in the late 9th century, monarch Harald Fairhair overcame his opponents in Hafrsfjord, becoming Norway’s first king, uniting the kingdom and ruling for several decades.

Vikings were Scandinavian mariners who raided, conquered, and traded throughout Europe and beyond during the Viking Age (793-1066), reaching the Middle East, Northern Africa, and possibly North America. They settled in Iceland, Ireland, the British Isles, sections of the Mediterranean, Kievan Rus’, and even Constantinople, among other places.

Image Credit: Getty

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