Amateur archaeologists find ancient treasure from era of Danish king

Amateur archaeologists find ancient treasure from era of Danish king

René Schön and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnitschenko were rummaging around with metal detectors on the German island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea when they happened upon the ancient treasure in January. At the weekend, he and Malaschnitschko joined professional archaeologists to dig up an area covering 400 square meters (4,300 square feet), unearthing braided necklaces, pearls, brooches, a Thor's hammer, rings and up to 600 chipped coins.

The Danish king Harald Gormsson (c910-c987), known as Bluetooth for a discoloured tooth, was one of the first kings of Denmark, and is known for bringing Christianity to his country.

In the 980s he fled to Pomerania, now in north Germany, after losing a big sea battle against forces loyal to his son Sweyn Forkbeard.

The king was immortalised by Nordic technology firms when they embedded their wireless "Bluetooth" technology in digital gadgets.

A pair of amateur archaeologists found a treasure trove on a Baltic island that is believed to have belonged to a Danish king from more than 1,000 years ago.

Amateur archaeologist Rene Schoen and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnichenko looking for treasure in Schaprode northern Germany
Amateur archaeologist Rene Schoen and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnichenko looking for treasure in Schaprode northern Germany Stefan Sauer DPA

Bluetooth reigned over what is now Denmark, northern Germany, southern Sweden and Norway from AD958 to 986. "It was the find of my life", Schön told Deutsche Welle.

Bluetooth led his warriors in campaigns against Frankish nobles who ruled parts of France and Germany in the Carolingian Age.

The earliest coin in the Schaprode hoard is reckoned to be a Damascus dirham dating from 714, and the latest ones are Frankish Otto-Adelheid pennies minted in 983.

More than 100 pieces at the site date back to the time of Bluetooth's reign.

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