April 16 (UPI) — A pair of amateur archaeologists found a treasure trove on a Baltic island that is believed to have belonged to a Danish king from more than 1,000 years ago.
René Schön and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnitschenko were rummaging around with metal detectors on the German island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea when they happened upon the ancient treasure in January. But experts kept the find secret until last week.
“This was the [biggest] discovery of my life,” Schön, a hobby archaeologist, told German news agency DPA.
The find includes silver coins, rings, pearls, bracelets and a Thor’s hammer from the era of 10th century Danish King Harald Bluetooth.
“This trove is the biggest single discovery of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic sea region and is therefore of great significance,” said lead archaeologist Michael Schirren, according to the BBC.
Experts believe the treasure may have been buried in the 980s. That may offer proof that Bluetooth fled the area to Pomerania after his son, Sven Gabelbart, led a rebellion against him, according to the Telegraph.
“We have here the rare case of a discovery that appears to corroborate historical sources,”archaeologist Detlef Jantzen said.
Bluetooth was a Viking-born king who renounced the Norse religion and is credited with unifying Denmark and introducing Christianity to the region.