Viking gold ring found among cheap jewelry!
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Treasure hunting is an extremely popular activity in Norway. For many residents of the country it is a real hobby. Therefore, news about the discovery of various kinds of ancient artifacts in Norway are quite frequent. Mari Ingelin Heskestad was lucky enough to find one of them: though in a very unexpected place.
The girl noticed the precious item at an online auction where bijouterie was being sold. She was able to get it only by purchasing the entire lot — a bunch of cheap jewelry in a banana box. The gold ring contrasted noticeably against other trinkets with its brilliance and weight. Intrigued, Heskestad decided to consult with her relative, who knew a little about history. The man suggested it was a Viking Age ring.
Then Heskestad turned to experts at the cultural heritage department of Vestland County and her relative’s bold guess was confirmed.
The gold jewelry weighs almost 11 grams and is made of twisted metal threads. Judging by the size of the item, it was worn by a man, most likely an influential one.
“Gold was rare during the Viking Age. So this would have been reserved for the richest and most powerful people in society,” says Unn Pedersen, an associate professor of archaeology at the University of Oslo.
It is interesting that in the history of Norwegian archeology only a few rings of this kind have been found. How such a valuable artifact ended up in a cheap jewelry box remains a mystery. It is only known that the aforementioned auction store once purchased an estate that had fallen into a state of neglect and was selling the items found there.
“We have no idea where the ring came from,” sums up archaeologist Sigrun Wølstad.
The rare artifact is now on display at the University Museum of Bergen.
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