Erlend Bore found ancient jewelry with his metal detector.
Anniken Celine Berger
Erlend Bore needed to get more exercise, so he bought a metal detector and started walking more. He found what he thought were chocolate coins, but they were gold jewelry from about 500 AD.Bore’s discovery has been dubbed the “find of the century,” but he can’t keep the treasure.
A Norwegian man who was just trying to get some exercise has unearthed gold jewelry that’s about 1,500 years old.
Earlier this year, 51-year-old Erlend Bore bought a metal detector after he was advised by his doctor to get off the sofa and find a new hobby. He started walking around his home in Rennesoey near Stavanger in southern Norway, mostly finding scraps of metals and the occasional modern coin.
But one day his detector immediately started beeping and just five inches below the soil he unearthed nine gold pendants, three gold rings and 10 gold pearls.
Some of the coins found by Erlend Bore.
Anniken Celine Berger
“At first, I thought I had found chocolate coins or plastic pirate treasure. It was surreal,” Bore told the University of Stavanger.
But what he had mistaken for chocolate turned out to be very rare show jewelry from the fifth century.
The treasure, weighing about 3.5 ounces, has been hailed as the “find of the century,” Ole Madsen, director of the university’s archaeology museum, said in a statement.
“In Norway, no similar discovery has been made since the 19th century, and it is also a very unusual discovery in a Scandinavian context,” added associate professor Håkon Reiersen.
The gold pendants — flat, thin, single-sided gold medals called bracteates — date from about 500 AD, the so-called migration period in Norway, which runs between 400 and about 550 when there was widespread migration in Europe.
The pendants and gold pearls were part of “a very showy necklace” that had been made by skilled jewellers and was worn by society’s most powerful, said Reiersen.
Bore delivered the jewlry to the museum the day after it was found and will not be able to keep his treasure. Under Norweigan law, objects from before 1537, and coins older than 1650, are considered state property and must be handed in.
The gold will be exhibited in Stavanger, about 200 miles southwest of Oslo.