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Viking Hoard Yields Foreign Coins on Swedish Island
By Richard Giedroyc
October 11, 2007

A total of 54 medieval coins have been unearthed in what is being called a Viking treasure trove on the island of Gotland, which is part of Sweden. The hoard is dominated by coins from various German states, England, and Arab countries, rather than coins from Sweden.

In all, only six coins in the hoard were issued in Sweden, although these six coins were of particular interest since each was a rare issue dating from the reign of Olof Skötkonug, who ruled between 994 and 1022. One of these six coins was previously known from a single example that example had been unearthed in Poland. Another Swedish coin in the find was one of only two known of that particular issue.

Two coins were initially discovered in August on the lawn of local farmer Tage Pettersson, following what the Sept. 14 Swedish English-language newspaper The Local called "a bout of torrential rain."

Local archaeologists had unearthed an additional 52 coins at the same site in September. Exact details regarding the coins were not immediately available, but archaeologist Dan Carlsson described them as "very well preserved, and come from a period about which we know little in terms of coin history" to The Local.

According to Carlsson, the coins date from between the late 900s and early 1000s. Most were described simply as being "German, English, and Arabic currency."

The Local reported Carlsson said the English coins were likely paid to Vikings to ensure peace. More Viking-related coinage finds have taken place on Gotland than anywhere else.

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