So far, 2016 has been an excellent year for unearthing important Viking jewelry, with two stunning finds in Danish fields by people using metal detectors. Recently, a trio found seven bangles – six gold, one silver – near Vejen in southern Jutland. A few months earlier, a man came across an elaborate little gold cross near Aunslev in eastern Fyn – a discovery that has archaeologists wondering if Christianity spread to Denmark earlier than generally believed.
The bangles were probably buried in the 10th century and weigh almost 2.25 lbs – the largest known precious collection found from that period. And the Aunslev Cross (just over 1.5 inches tall) was likely from the first half of the 10th century, predating the 965 AD Jelling Stone pegged as Denmark’s first Christian relic. Researchers are trying to assess if the cross was used as an icon or as eye-catching jewelry.
Photo of Viking bangles by Nick Schaadt, Museet på Sønderskov