During A Metal Detector Vacation In Denmark, Amateur Archaeologists Make Remarkable Discovery

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Oct 09, 2023

A group of amateur archaeologists set out to North Denmark for the perfect getaway with their metal detector. Denmark is a wonderful place to visit in general, but also a rich treasure trove for metal detecting finds.

During their voyage, these hobbyist metal detectors discovered a hoard of Viking silver near the ruins of the Viking castle Fyrkat, in Hobro, North Denmark. The trove contained 300 items, including ancient coins, ring pins, and silver balls.

A Rare Treasure Trove

The trove of 300 items believed to be 1,000 years old was discovered by Jane Foged-Monster, Louise Stahlschmidt, and Mette Norre Bækgaard, near the Viking fortress. The items – which include Danish, German, and Arab coins, silver balls, and a ring pin – were found abandoned in a settlement approximately eight kilometers from King Harald Gormsson’s Viking fortress, Fyrkat.


Source: North Jutland Museum

Archaeologist and museum inspector at North Jutland Museums, Torben Trier Christiansen described the discovery as “incredibly exciting.”


Unbelievable Findings

The recreational metal detectorists from Nordjysk Detektorforening who found the Viking silver hoard were on a metal detector holiday when they made the life-changing discovery.


Source: Pia Egeberg/TV2Nord

The three of them confirmed this to TV2 Nord. According to Jane Foged-Mønster, who lives in Mariager, “There were only a few of us who went to that field for a start, but it wasn’t long before I found the first piece of silver.”

What a Great Thing to Be Part Of!

The three of them were allowed to partake in the excavation of the treasures. According to Stahlschmidt, “This is one of the biggest things I have been involved in. That’s what we all dream of. We’ve seen it in the history books with these silver finds, but I’ve never been in the middle of it, so my detector hobby is peaking right now.”


Source: Pia Egeberg/TV2Nord

Jane Foged-Monster, still in awe of the finding, continued saying, “It can be attributed to a small part of Denmark’s history, and it is so great to have been part of it. I don’t think I can quite accept it yet.”

King Harald “Bluetooth” (Blåtand) Gormsson

The amazing find, which was made in fall 2021, dates back to the 900s. Although due to modern-day ploughing, the hoards have been disturbed and spread over a larger area. As a result, archaeologists have found it difficult to determine with certainty the owner of the treasures.


Source: thoughtco.com/Pinterest

However, the artifacts discovered hint that they originate from the Viking age of King Harald “Bluetooth” (Blåtand) Gormsson, who united Denmark and Norway in 958. 

The King’s Nickname: An Inspiration for Tech Developers

According to the Viking Herald, the king earned his nickname “Bluetooth” from his dead tooth, which was a dark blue/gray color. Now it has become a major inspiration for one of the world’s most famous technologies, “bluetooth,” a widelspread wireless technology used to connect electronic devices together. 

Source: pcmag.com/Pinterest

In a statement to Danish news site TV2 Nord, Christiansen said, “There is no doubt” the coins are linked to the king, adding, “We are looking forward to delving into that history.”


A Large Viking Ring Pin

In addition to the coins discovered are two rather interesting pieces of silver. Each weighing about 70 grams, it’s evident they came from the same piece of jewelry. The large Viking ring pin found in Bramslev, Northeast of Hobro, was usually used by men at the top of society in Ireland and on neighboring islands during the Viking Age.

Source: North Jutland Museum

Jewelry of this caliber was also worn by kings and bishops. Perhaps it originated from a raiding expedition by the Danish Vikings.


The Interesting Location of the Treasures

The King’s artifacts are not uncommon in treasure finds. However, the location of this find makes it interesting.

Source: Nordjyske Museer

Fyrkat and other King’s ring castles were only used for a short period before they were abandoned. Perhaps the treasures were buried there before or after they were abandoned.


The Treasure Finds on Display

Archaeologists from the North Jutland Museums are curious to find out more about the Viking village at the site where the treasures were found.

Source: iStock Photos

However, according to news outlet TV2 Nord, the finds will be shown at Nordjyske Museer in Aalborg (near where the hoard was discovered) before being displayed in the National History Museum in Copenhagen. Intriguingly, these finds are not the end of the discoveries.


The Investigation Continues

With the grant from the Palaces and Culture Agency, archaeologists from the North Jutland museums will continue with archaeological investigations at the discovery site. While there may be no silver treasures to be discovered, the upcoming investigations will focus on discovering ancient buildings.

Source: Nordjyske Museer/Facebook

It will also focus on finding answers to whether the buildings were ordinary Viking houses. Regardless, it is hoped that the remains of a large Viking hall are discovered.