Beginner’s Luck? Danish Rookie Treasure Hunter Makes ‘Most Beautiful’ Discovery in Country’s History
Archaeologists from across the country are now working at the site where the treasures were initially discovered. It has been suggested that the gold was buried because the inhabitants sought to appease their gods or possibly as a way to reject the old rulers.
Next time someone attempts to talk you out of trying new things tell them about Ole Ginnerup Schytz, a Danish rookie treasure hunter whose recent discovery has been dubbed by museums as "the largest, richest and most beautiful” in the country’s history. Schytz unearthed 22 gold pieces, which researchers say could shed light on the life of pre-Vikings
peoples in Denmark.
Schytz acknowledges that he discovered the treasure by “pure luck”. He bought a metal detector and headed to the house of his former schoolmate in the city of Jelling, where he wandered for a few hours. Then came a beep and a few minutes later Schytz’s was holding a metallic object, which, he says, at the time did not look like treasure to him.
"It was full of smashes and mud. I had no idea about it, so the only thing I could think of was that it looked like the lid on a can of sour herring", the treasure hunter told local channel TV2.
He then dug deeper and his pupils dilated as he discovered gold medallions.
"Denmark is 43,000 square kilometers, and then I happen to choose to put the detector exactly where this find was", he said.
Archaeologists say the find, which weighs around one kilogram, was likely buried in the 6th century. Researchers note that the artifacts show how Norse mythology developed after inhabitants became inspired by Roman jewelry.
"The Scandinavians have always been good at getting ideas from what they saw in foreign countries, and then turning it into something that suits them", said National Museum expert Peter Vang Petersen.
The National Museum noted that many important archaeological finds in recent decades have been made by amateur archaeologists or treasure hunters. The gold pieces will be exhibited at an upcoming Viking exhibition in Denmark, which will open on 3 February 2022.