Schoolboy with metal detector unearths ancient Viking hoard of Harald Bluetooth's treasure

Cheryl Sanders
April 17, 2018

The coins were minted between 910 and 987 and date back to the reign of King Harald Bluetooth.

René Schön and his student Luca Malaschnitschenko are reported to have been scouring a field with metal detectors in January, on the German island of Rügen close to Denmark in the Baltic sea, when they chanced upon what they believed to be a piece of aluminum.

In the early 1870s what is now known as the Hiddensee treasure was discovered.

"This was the (biggest) discovery of my life", hobby archaeologist Rene Schoen told the German news agency dpa.


At first, they thought it was aluminium - but then realised it was ancient silver. As it turned out, was shining not a piece of foil, and the product of silver.

After more digging, with help from professional archaeologists, the team uncovered remarkable artifacts, including braided necklaces, pearls, brooches, a Thor's hammer (a representation of a mythical weapon forged by dwarves), rings and up to 600 chipped coins, including more than 100 that date to Bluetooth's era.

Hide them on rügen could the Danish king Harald I Bluetooth about the year 983, after his escape in the year 980 in Pomerania.

He was one of the last Viking kings of what is now Denmark, northern Germany, southern Sweden and parts of Norway.


He is credited with unifying Denmark and introducing Christianity to the Nordic country.

"We have here the rare case of a discovery that appears to corroborate historical sources", archaeologist Detlef Jantzen said.

His nickname came from the fact he had a dead tooth that looked bluish, although the term is of course best known for the wireless Bluetooth technology invented by Swedish telecom company Ericsson.

A coin unearthed at the dig.


The company named the technology, developed to wirelessly unite computers with cellular devices, after the king for his ability to unite ancient Scandinavia.

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