Viking treasure with Bluetooth coins discovered

Danish King Harald Bluetooth being baptized by Poppo the monk in a relief dated to circa 1200 Anagoria – Own work under Creative Commons

Danish King Harald Bluetooth being baptized by Poppo the monk in a relief dated to circa 1200 Anagoria – Own work under Creative Commons

The Baltic island of Rugen, now in Germany, has proved to be a fertile hunting-ground for archaeologists and treasure hunters when it comes to finding relics of Denmark's Viking past. On a field of 400 square meters, they came upon a silver treasure from the late 10th century with coins that are assigned to the Danish king Harald Bluetooth (about 910 - 987).

Because they stayed silent concerning their original sighting, the full treasure trove was retrieved.

"It's the biggest trove of such coins in the southeastern Baltic region", Mecklenburg-West Pomerania state archaeology office said in a statement.

Malaschnitschenko and Schoen were invited to participate in the recovery.

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Braided necklaces, pearls, brooches, a Thor's hammer, rings and up to 600 chipped coins were found, including more than 100 that date back to Bluetooth's era. According to the Guardian, the oldest of the coins comes from the year 714, while the most recent one dates back to the year 983.

Harald Gormsson, who was known as Bluetooth because he had one strongly discolored tooth, reigned over what is now Denmark, northern Germany, southern Sweden and parts of Norway from 958 to 986.

Schön's find was not entirely down to luck, perhaps, as in the 1870s, pieces of gold jewelry believed to be linked to Bluetooth were found on the island of Hiddensee, which is next to Rügen.

At that time Harald was at war with his son, Sweyn Forkbeard, so it is surmised that the hoard was buried by the king in his flight.

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The technology, developed to wirelessly link computers with cellular devices, was named after Bluetooth because of his knack for unification.

"We have here the rare case of a discovery that appears to corroborate historical sources", archaeologist Detlef Jantzen said.

The logo is made up of the two ancient runes spelling out his initials HB.

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