Germany: a child discovers an inestimable treasure on an island


In January, Luca’s metal detector is racing. The 13-year-old schoolboy unearths a coin in a field near Schaprode in the north-east of the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, the island where Chancellor Merkel has ceased to be elected member since 1990 The teenager shows the piece to René Schön, an amateur archaeologist. After having cleaned it, it remains quiet: “It’s the discovery of my life,” he says to the German press agency DPA . It recognizes the legendary King Harald at the Blue Tooth which introduced in the tenth century Christianity in Denmark. But both had to keep the secret until the last weekend, so as not to excite the appetite of the curious and looters. Silver coins and jewelry On 14 and 15 April, some 400 m² where the coin was found, were searched by the Archeology Department of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in the north-east of the country. And it’s a real treasure that has been unearthed. Coins, pearls, a hammer from Thor – the god of thunder in Norse mythology – as well as braided necklaces, brooches and broken silver rings were found. Braided necklaces and brooches were unearthed on the island of Rügen. AFP / Stefan Sauer A hundred pieces seem to date from the kingdom of Harald I (910-987), a unifying king who rejected Viking beliefs and launched the Christianization of Denmark. Older pieces from far-flung lands have also been found, including a Damascus Dirham turned into a jewel dating back to 714. The most recent pieces date from the 980s, which suggests that this treasure could have been hidden by the entourage of Harald I who, after losing a battle against his own son in 986, fled to Pomerania where he is died a year later, according to the literature of the tenth century. A treasure hidden during the king’s escape “Here we have a rare case, when a discovery seems to be related to historical sources,” says the chief archaeologist of the German region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Detlef Jantzen, “the treasure of Schaprode is a unique discovery of its kind. Jewelry dating from the same period had already been discovered not far away on the island of Hiddensee at the end of the 19th century. Historians in the region also consider that these precious objects could be hidden during the flight of the king. Harald’s initials for Bluetooth Harald at the Blue Tooth (Blue tooth) is an important historical figure in the Nordic space. It is in his honor that the Bluetooth wireless communication technology has been named. The symbol of Bluetooth is also a mixture of two letters of runic alphabets representing the initials of King Harald. The treasure discovered by Luca and the amateur archaeologist has been transferred to the mainland in Schwerin, the state capital, where it will be listed and preserved. Saxon, Danish and Byzantine coins have been found. AFP / Stefan Sauer Schaprode on the German island of Rügen / Google Maps


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