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Amateur archaeologists stumble upon largest trove of Viking gold ever found in Denmark

The Week logo The Week 6/16/2016

Seven bangles found in a field in Jutland, Denmark. © National Museum of Denmark Seven bangles found in a field in Jutland, Denmark. Six gold bracelets and a seventh made of silver comprise the largest collection of Viking treasure to ever be discovered in Denmark, The Local reports — and the trove wasn't even found by professionals.

The three amateur archaeologists who make up "Team Rainbow Power" found the gold with their metal detectors in a field in Jutland. "We really felt like we had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when we found the first bracelet, but when others then appeared it was almost unreal," Marie Aagaard Larsen of Team Rainbow Power said in a press release from the National Museum of Denmark.

After finding three of the bracelets, the team called in Lars Grundvad from the Sønderskov Museum. "At the museum, we had talked about how interesting it could be to check out the area with metal detectors because there was a [approximately 2.4 ounce] gold chain found there back in 1911. But I would have never in my wildest fantasies believed that amateur archaeologists could uncover seven bracelets from the Viking Age," Grundvad said.

Team Rainbow Power's gold bracelets ended up weighing a total of approximately 32 ounces, making it the biggest treasure of its sort to be discovered in all of Denmark. The gold dates back to the year 900, and is styled as the sort of jewelry that would have belonged to the Viking elite. Archaeologists don't know if the bracelets were buried in a ritual, or hidden by someone only to never be retrieved.

Until now, anyway.

Jeva Lange

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