Family Looking for a Lost Earring Accidentally Discovers a Viking Burial

Norwegian Family Accidentally Finds Viking Burial

The Aasvik Family at Jomfruland celebrating their find. (Photo: Kulturarv i Vestfold og Telemark fylkeskommune)

Losing an earring is frustrating; but, for one family in Norway, their search for a lost gold trinket in their backyard led to an incredible discovery. While it remains unclear whether they ever found the missing earring, the Aasvik family found something else much more exciting with the help of a metal detector. They discovered an early medieval buckle and another item that date to the Viking period, a rare 1,000-year-old find. Having called archeologists to investigate, the exciting news soon emerged. The family's back garden likely contains a Viking woman's grave.

The family lives on Jomfruland, a Norwegian island. Their pretty back garden was the scene of the lost earring, but with the metal detector they quickly discovered “a very well-preserved bowl-shaped buckle, and another item that matches both in dating and style.” These silver items are detailed and engraved with ornate patterns. They are thought to be over 1,000 years old, likely from the 800s CE. Previous finds were medieval, but this was the first Viking age (ninth to 11th century CE) discovery on the island.

So where did these goods come from? They are likely burial goods, archeologists think, from the burial of a Viking Age woman. Thankfully, the family contacted the properly trained authorities so that any future excavations to find the resting place will be done to professional standards. The discovery of the grave goods is not the only exceptional archeological find in Norway lately. A man metal detecting on the island of Rennesoey found a bunch of gold jewelry, including rings and pendants. In Europe, treasure finds and even hoards are not unheard of, given the ancient history abounding. Many countries have laws regulating finds, and any enthusiasts should always call the proper archeological authorities to investigate as soon as they realize a site is significant, just like the Aasvik family did. They went looking for an earring and found a Viking instead.

While metal detecting in search of a lost earring, a Norwegian family discovered Viking burial goods over 1,000 years old.

h/t: [CBS News]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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