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Family finds Viking-era treasures while searching for lost earring in Norway

The Aasvik family (pictured above) discovered two Viking-era artifacts while using a metal detector to search for a lost gold earring in the yard of their Norwegian home in September 2023. Kulturarv i Vestfold og Telemark fylkeskommune

A family in Norway was searching for a lost gold earring in their yard this month when they discovered treasure much more valuable than the jewelry: Viking-era artifacts dating back more than 1,000 years.

When the Aasvik family pulled out their metal detector to search for the earring in the garden around their home in Jomfruland, they instead found items believed to be from a Viking funeral.

According to the Cultural Heritage of Vestfold and Telemark County Council, who shared news of the impressive find, the family unearthed a bowl-shaped buckle and another item that archaeologists believe would have been used in a ninth-century Viking burial.

The two Viking-era artifacts discovered under a tree in the Aasvik family’s yard. Kulturarv i Vestfold og Telemark fylkeskommune

The council said they believe a woman’s grave had been unknowingly preserved under a large tree in the Aasvik family’s garden. The artifacts are believed to be from around the year AD 800.

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The Aasvik family’s garden where the Viking-era artifacts were unearthed. Kulturarv i Vestfold og Telemark fylkeskommune

The Aasvik family immediately contacted local authorities to report their find.

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Jomfruland is a small island off Norway’s south coast. Prior to this discovery, archaeologists knew there had been earlier settlements on the island, but only had concrete proof dating back to the Middle Ages. This discovery is believed to be the first Viking-era find on the island.

The Aasvik family are not the only people to make a discovery from Viking times in Norway this month.

Amateur archeologist Erlend Bore was using his newly purchased metal detector on the southern island of Rennesøy in Norway when he found what he thought were foil-wrapped chocolate coins buried in the dirt. Instead, Bore dug up nine pendants, three rings and 10 gold pearls, believed to be from around AD 500.

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Archaeologists called the discovery “the gold find of the century in Norway.”

In Norway, it is illegal to keep artifacts from before 1537 and coins older than 1650, as they are considered state property.

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