Skip to content

Amateur metal detectors find Viking-era silver coins, jewellery in Finnish field

The items are believed to be from the 10th century.

Viikinnkiaikaisia hopeakolikoita siisteissä riveissä.
An amateur metal detector found a silver cache in a Mynämäki field with 12 coins from the tenth century Image: Jani Oravisjärvi / Suomen kansallismuseo
Yle News

Amateur metal detectors have found a Viking-era cache of silver coins and jewellery in a field in Mynämäki in southwest Finland, the Finnish Heritage Agency has reported in a press release.

The discovery was made in early May, with the agency stating that the coins and pieces of jewellery are believed to be from the tenth century. According to the press release, there were 12 coins minted by the Viking king Harald Bluetooth, of which only a few had previously been found in Finland.

"Yes it was shaking in my hands. This was my most spectacular discovery to date and the first intact cache I've found," said Oskari Heikkilä, the metal detector who made the discovery.

After he realised what he found, Heikkilä stopped digging, left the rest of the objects in place and reported his discovery to the Finnish Heritage Agency. The following week, the agency began trial excavations.

The agency said that based on archaeological research, the objects may have originally been in a leather bag due to their close concentration when discovered. Small pieces of Iron Age pottery were also found in the excavation area. The findings suggest that the site may have been inhabited.

The field area where the cache was found has been entered into the registry of ancient remains, meaning no further metal detecting or excavations may be carried out without the permission of the Finnish Heritage Agency. The discovery is now part of the agency's archaeological collections.

Mynämäki is known for its many Iron Age sites and finds, and it is in the centre of the Iron Age region of Southwest Finland.

Would you like a roundup of the week's top stories in your inbox every Thursday? Then sign up to receive our weekly email!

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia