Earlier this year, when his doctor encouraged him to become more active, Erlend Bore decided to buy a metal detector. He ventured out on the Norwegian island of Rennesøy and quickly stumbled upon something strange.
At first, he thought he’d unearthed some old chocolate coins; in reality, he’d struck gold. He dug up nine engraved gold pendants, ten gold pearls and three gold rings - all dating to the sixth century C.E. Officials say the discovery is the first of its kind in the country since the 1800s. It's a wonderful example of beginner's luck.
“This is the gold find of the century in Norway,” says Ole Madsen, director of the Museum of Archaeology at the University of Stavanger.
The pendants and beads likely once made up “an exceptionally splendid necklace,” says Håkon Reiersen, an archaeologist at the museum. The jewelry may have been “crafted by skilled goldsmiths and worn by the most powerful individuals in society.”
Norwegian law dictates that objects older than 1537 - and coins older than 1650 - become state property. Conservators at the Museum of Archaeology are now cleaning the artifacts, which they hope to put on public display.
Bore will, however, receive a finder’s fee, and he plans to continue his new hobby.