View Full Version : [Norway] Archaeologists strike gold in secret spot

Monday, December 20th, 2004, 10:34 PM

Archaeologists strike gold in secret spot

Eleven small, golden reliefs have been unearthed at an archaeological dig somewhere in eastern Norway. Officials won't say where, because they think more of the 1,400-year-old gold objects will be found at the site.
Professor Heid Gjøstein Resi with one of the small gold reliefs found in eastern Norway.


The most intact object found in October depicts a couple, maybe the mythological figures Frøy and Gerd.


"This is a tremendously unique and exciting discovery, the kind an archaeologist makes only once in a lifetime," professor Heid Gjøstein Resi told newspaper Aftenposten. Resi, who's tied to the Oslo museum housing Viking treasures (the Oldsakssamlingen at the Kulturhistorisk Museum), has been leading the excavation where the gold objects were found.

They were first unearthed in October, before digging was forced to stop for the winter. Resi said they found on the excavation's first day, and the thrill intensified when no less than 10 more were found later.

The archaeologists call the small reliefs gullgubber, which basically translates to "golden old men." That's because the first of their kind found in Scandinavia depicted men with beards, even though those found this fall depict a man and a woman.

They date from 600-700 AD, are only about 1.1 centimeters in size and are believed to have been used as a form of payment or offering at rituals. The last ones found in Norway were unearthed at Borg on Lofoten in the 1980s. They also were found under Mæhre Church in Trøndelag in the 1960s and at Klepp in Rogaland in the 1800s.

The biggest collection, around 2,300, was found on the Danish island of Bornholm. The so-called gulgubber also have been found in Sweden.

Archaeologists will resume digging at the site in the spring, and its location is expected to be made public next year.