On a dull gray weather day in the autumn, silver suddenly glistened in the South Funen soil. 700 Viking coins appeared from the ground. It turned out to be one of the largest coin treasures from the Viking Age ever found on Funen.
It is detector driver Claus Gundersen who found the coins and Flux contacted the Archipelago Museum. It was an inquiry out of the ordinary, so museum inspector Nicolai Garhøj Larsen hurried to a naked and inconspicuous field near Brobyværk, where the coins had been found. To everyone's great surprise, it turned out to be far more than a handful of coins. After finding several scattered coins, the lower part of a small jar suddenly appeared. The jar was stuffed with coins. Not only that - after digging it out, another jar appeared. Not only were there coins in it as well, but in the bottom were preserved remnants of the cloth in which the coins had been laid.
Museum inspector Nicolai Garhøj Larsen says: “It's wild. One so rarely finds large coin treasures. I never thought I would experience something like this. Otherwise, it's just something you read about. ”
Claus Gundersen follows up: “I have only started using a metal detector this summer. I started this when I have a huge interest in antiquity and because going with a detector is quite de-stressing. That I saw, already this autumn, find a huge treasure, is completely wild. It is very great to be the first to touch something that has been in the ground for over 1,000 years. When it happened, I froze completely, and I actually had no idea what I was actually going to do - and therefore I stayed by the treasure without digging it up. I called the Archipelago Museum, and from there it picked up speed. ”
Nicolai Garhøj Larsen adds briefly: “Claus chose to do the right thing here; namely to mark the place and contact us at the Archipelago Museum ”.
The museum now has coins and jars in its custody, and they are currently being preserved so that they can be examined further. Therefore, the museum does not yet know which coins it is specifically about. From a quick overview, it appears that these are English coins and coins struck by the Danish king Svend Estridsen. It places the treasure at the end of the Viking Age (ca. the year 1,050), where they have represented an enormous value.
However, Claus is not completely releasing his treasure yet. He has in fact got an internship at the museum, and therefore has the pleasure of helping the museum to register the many coins before the tax is handed over to the National Museum. The find is Danefæ, and must therefore according to the law be transferred.
Why the tax has been dropped is hard to say. Maybe it's tucked away for better times that never came. Maybe the person who had saved them died before he or she could pick them up. Maybe it's a sacrifice. In any case, the treasure was worth a fortune, and the owner must have been a powerful and rich person in the society of the time. It is also interesting that the treasure appears in an area where no finds from the Viking Age have been made before. With the discovery of the treasure, we can therefore begin to see the area in a whole new light. There will no doubt be more exciting discoveries when the tax is analyzed in more detail.
This article was published on the Øhavsmuseet facebook page on 26-11-2020