These gold rings of Roman origin are dating back to the period 200 to 400 AD. (Photo: Håvard Haugseth Jensen)
In late September, several Roman gold rings tied together in two small bundles were found in Skaun in Central Norway, far far away from Ancient Rome. Did Norwegian Vikings bring the gold rings home after raids on the British Isles?
The rings weighing 17 ounces (480 grams) were found on farmland by the use of metal detector, but the searchers will not yet provide more accurate information about the site other than telling that the discovery was made in Skaun, located by the Trondheimsfjord.
– This is a huge discovery. These bundled gold rings were probably used as payment, says Bernt Rundberget at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Archaeology and Cultural History, to Adresseavisen newspaper.
Archaeologists believe that the rings were made between the year 200 and 400 AD and that they probably originally were Roman.
Two Arab silver dirhams found in a Viking grave in Skaun minted during the reign of the Samanid amir Nasr II ibn Ahmad (913-943 AD). The complete dirham was produced in al Shash (Tashkent) in today’s Uzbekistan. Both coins are dating back to ca. the year 930 AD. (Photo: Norwegian University of Science and Technology).
One theory is that the rings did find their way across the North Sea to Central Norway via “Provincia Britannia”, the Roman name of the area of the island of Great Britain governed by the Roman Empire from year 43 – 410 AD.
Did Vikings rob the rings when raiding an English church in the 9th century – or maybe the gold was ransom paid by an English king to get rid of the troublesome Norsemen?
The answer we probably never will get.
Now the rings have been handed over to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology that will keep the treasure for posterity.
- See also: The Hoen Viking Age Gold Treasure
Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews