A medieval treasure trove that belonged to the legendary King Harald Bluetooth was recently unearthed on a German island by a 13-year-old and an amateur archaeologist. The pair were using metal detectors to hunt treasure on Rügen, Germany’s largest island, in the Baltic Sea. And wonder of wonders, they found some real treasure!
Archaeologists who were called in found 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.
Based on their finds, archaeologists believe the hoard belonged to the Danish king Harald Gormsson, more commonly known as “Bluetooth,” who ruled from about 958 to 986 CE. He is famous for bringing Christianity to Denmark, and uniting swathes of modern-day Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark under his rule. And yes, that’s the guy that Bluetooth Technology is named after. The oldest coin uncovered at Rügen dates to 714 CE, while the youngest is a penny from 983 CE. These dates suggest the treasure was buried in the late 980s. That matches up with when Bluetooth lost a battle against his rebellious son, Sweyn Forkbeard, and then “retired” to northwestern Germany for a year before his death.