He discovered a cache of Viking silver coins in a field
The Finnish metal detectorist Oskari Heikkilä was very happy to discover Viking silver coins in the field. There were a total of twelve pieces, some of them apparently used as jewellery. They date back to the 10th century.
The prospector managed to find the coins at the beginning of May this year. However, the Finnish Heritage Agency only announced this a few days ago via a press release. The searcher discovered the twelve silver coins in a field in Mynämäki in southwestern Finland.
Some of the coins have a hole and appear to have been used as jewellery. In any case, the coins date from the tenth century, the reign of King Harald I. Bluebeard. There is a legend associated with him, according to which he hesitated which god was stronger. He was hesitating between Odin and Jesus Christ. His indecision was only "broken" by the German chaplain Poppo, who carried a piece of red-hot iron into the red heat with his bare hand. In 965, Harald was baptised and introduced Christianity to Denmark.
For metal detector enthusiast Oskari Heikkilä, this is a discovery of a lifetime; he has so far failed to find anything rarer. When he realised that he had found a real treasure, he was "out of his mind".
"My hands were shaking. This is my most amazing discovery to date. The first intact cache I have ever found," said Oskari Heikkilä.
When he realised he had found something special, he stopped digging and called the Finnish Heritage Agency. The following week, experts began excavating. They concluded that the coins were originally hidden in a leather pouch. They were led to this idea by the fact that the coins were right next to each other.
The archaeologists also discovered small pieces of Iron Age pottery in the area where the excavation took place. The finds suggest that the site was probably heavily occupied. The area where the cache was found has been recorded by archaeologists on the site register. This means that no metal detectors or excavations can be carried out here without permission from the Finnish Heritage Agency.
The coins are now part of the agency's archaeological collections. Mynämäki is known for its numerous Iron Age sites and finds. In fact, it is located in the very centre of what was then an important Iron Age area in south-western Finland. Archaeologists were therefore not so surprised by the discovery of the coins.
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