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Viking-Era Silver Coins Found On Estonia's Island Of Saaremaa


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Another archaeological find has been made on the island of Saaremaa, just weeks after a major haul including a 1,700-year-old gold bracelet came to light.

Credit: Saaremaa Museum

The recent find dates from a later era, the Viking period, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, and includes a large number of silver coins, according to both the Heritage Protection Board (Muinsuskaitseamet) and Saaremaa Museum.
As with the earlier treasure trove, the latest find was the work of a metal detector hobbyist, who, in line with Estonian law, informed the authorities.

Credit: Saaremaa Museum

"We are grateful for the licensed hobby detector, who reported the findings to the Heritage Protection Board, which can now preserve some of the crucial history of Saaremaa," Saaremaa Museum stated on its social media page.
Archaeologist and Tallinn University Archaeology Research Collection numismatics curator Mauri Kiudsoo said that the find was highly significant for in understanding of Saaremaa's Viking-era history, as well as running against the trend of hobbyists not handing over finds to the state on Saaremaa itself.

Credit: Saaremaa Museum

Two separate hoards were found. One of these dating to the second half of the 10th century, contained silver coins which came via the Viking trade route which crossed the Baltic from the present-day Swedish island of Gotland, to Saaremaa's southern coast, and then on to Laane County and on to present-day Tallinn.
These were likely to have been buried during upheaval or conflict in the region, as was the case with the other hoard from the Lumanda-Kihelkonna area. Both point to destruction and upheaval in particular parts of Saaremaa in the second quarter of the 11th century, according to the article.

Credit: Saaremaa Museum

Kiudsoo added very few coin hoards from the same era have been found elsewhere in Estonia.

In September, metal detector hobbyist Jegor Klimov found a substantially-sized gold bracelet, amber brooches, locally-made luxury amber brooches, silver and silver-plated brooches and a Scandinavian silver-plated belt, at a 1,700-year-old sacrificial site.

The find similarly filled in knowledge gaps on the iron age on Saaremaa, as the more recent find has done for the later viking era.

Source: ERR News [October 05, 2019]