13-Year-Old Discovers Treasure Tied To Danish King


An amateur archaeologist and a 13-year-old student discovered a thousand-year-old treasure on an island in the Baltic Sea. The treasure might be tied to Harald Bluetooth, the famous king who united Denmark. (NPR)

Where else have citizen scientists discovered Viking treasure?

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Hundreds of coins were unearthed at the dig. Some coins were stamped with a cross, dating them to the Christian era in the Danish empire. Other items associated with the Schaprode hoard include braided necklaces, beads, brooches, a Thor’s hammer (the T-shaped amulet at center-bottom right) and rings.
Photograph by Stefan Sauer /AFP/Getty Images

Discussion Ideas


  • What did amateur and professional archaeologists find at the Schaprode site?
    • coins! The hundreds of coins, some with Christian crosses, comprise “the biggest single discovery of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic Sea region.”
      • Many of the coins are chipped. This is because Vikings had a “bullion economy,” in which the weight of metal was valued, not a specific form (such as a set-value coin.) Coins and metal jewelry were often chipped and weighed to make “change” for trade in goods or services.
    • braided necklaces
    • beads
    • pearls
    • brooches
    • rings
    • a Thor’s hammer. Thor’s hammers are symbolic, T-shaped amulets common in Viking-Age Scandinavia. The presence of a Thor’s hammer alongside coins with crosses reveals how Christianity did not suddenly replace pagan spirituality and symbolism.




NPR: Amateur Archaeologist And 13-Year-Old Student Discover Trove Tied To Danish King

The Guardian: Boy unearths treasure of the Danish king Bluetooth in Germany

Nat Geo: Vikings resources

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