A 13-year old student made one of the finds of the century by uncovering King Harald Bluetooth’s lost hoard. The seemingly worthless scraps of metal led to an incredible find in coins and an authentic hammer of Thor.
13. Ancient Finds in a Field
An incredible hoard of lost treasure that is over 1,000 years old has been found on a remote German island. The find was made by 13-year old student Luca Malaschnichenko, who was walking through a field in Rügen, an island in the Baltic Sea.
12. A Piece of Metal
Malaschnichenko’s teacher walked over to investigate a piece of metal that the student had picked up. Immediately, the teacher, René Schön, realized they were looking at an actual ancient silver coin. Schön is an amateur archaeologist. He knew they needed to call the State Office for Culture and Heritage without delay.
11. King Harald Bluetooth
“This was the (biggest) discovery of my life,” said Schön, a hobbyist who used metal detectors to sweep the area. King Harald Gormsson is famous for ruling Scandinavia, Norway and parts of Germany between 930 and 986. He was one of the last Viking Kings.
10. The Last Viking
King Harald united all of Scandinavia and also converted the Danes from Germanic Paganism to Christianity. His nickname was “blátǫnn” in Old Norse or “Blåtand” in Danish. This translates to Bluetooth. Schön and his students had to keep the find absolutely secret for three months while a team planned to come and excavate the site.
9. Hammer of Thor Pendant
Finally, the team arrived, and they let Malaschnichenko assist them with the dig. There were many amazing discoveries in that field, including an authentic Mjölnir, known as the “hammer of Thor,” which many pagans still wear around their necks today. Thor is a god associated with thunder who is the champion of the common man.
8. Chipped and Buried Coins
They also found around 600 chipped silver coins, with 100 of them dating back to the time of Harald Bluetooth. They found many braided necklaces, pearls, and brooches. Lead archaeologist Michael Schirren told DPA that the “trove is the biggest single discovery of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic Sea region and is therefore of great significance.”
7. Link to Modern World
No one knows precisely why King Harald’s nickname was Bluetooth, but it is presumed he had a dead tooth. In 1996, Intel engineer Jim Kardach was reading a book on Viking history when he read the saga of Harald Bluetooth. He decided to name his new technology, which you know as “bluetooth” after the King.
6. Bluetooth Technology
“King Harald Bluetooth … was famous for uniting Scandinavia just as we intended to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link,” he later said. Kardach even based the design of the logo on a bind rune merging the Younger Futhark runes (Hagall) (ᚼ) and (Bjarkan) (ᛒ), which refer to Harald’s initials. The technology was officially rolled out as part of Swedish company Ericsson.
5. Fleeing from Son
Unlike most mythologies, the tales of the kings and heroes of Scandinavia have often wound up being corroborated by historical sources. This is true of the Rügen discovery, since this location seems to correspond to Harald’s escape from Denmark. (He was deposed by his ambitious son, Forkbeard, around 985).
4. The Island of Rügen
Rügen is an area which has been ruled by many empires. The area has been settled by humans since the Stone Ages. Slavs, Danes, Pomeranians, Swedes, French, Germans and Russians have all played a role in its history.
3. Historical Value
Although the coins and artifacts have a monetary value, their true importance is in the history they teach. “This is the largest single find of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic Sea region and is therefore of outstanding importance.” In the words of archaeologist Detlef Jantzen, “We have here the rare case of a discovery that appears to corroborate historical sources.”
2. Ancient Coins
The oldest coin dates to 714, which is even before Harald Bluetooth’s era. The most recent was 983, just four years before his death. Treasure seekers in Europe often find buried coins and treasure, usually buried by wealthy people who were fleeing or hiding money for various reasons.
1. Buried Treasure
According to a professor Roskilde University in Denmark, the silver was likely buried by some of Bluetooth’s wealthier allies. “Things were so unstable that very wealthy men or women from his court felt obliged to bury their coins and jewelry,” said professor Brian Patrick McGuire. “Usually, treasures are left behind by people who hope to retrieve them when things get better, as an act of faith in better times.”