Ancient Golden Neck Ring 'of Almost Divine Quality' Found in Denmark
05:23 GMT 23.12.2021 (Updated: 20:16 GMT 19.10.2022)
The nearly half-a-kilogram heavy ring with intricate and rare crescent-like decorations found in Denmark is estimated to date back to the Germanic Iron Age 1,400-1,700 years ago.
An ancient golden neck ring has been discovered in a field not far from Esbjerg on the Jutland Peninsula in mainland Denmark.
The ring weighs in at almost half a kilo (446 grams), and archaeologists estimate that it dates back to the Germanic Iron Age 1,400-1,700 years ago.
The ring is 21 centimetres in diameter at its broadest point and decorated with crescent-like depressions squeezed into the gold.
That kind of decoration is only known from fewer than a dozen similar rings found in Denmark. The South West Jutland Museum described
the find as a "masterpiece of almost divine quality".
It is believed that the ring was deliberately buried and hidden away, and not sacrificed to the gods, which was also common for finds from that era.
"When sacrificing items at that time, it usually took place in wetlands and bogs and the like. We know a large wetland existed near the discovery site, so if it was sacrificed to the gods, it would have been located out there instead", Claus Feveile, curator at the Ribe Viking Museum, said in a statement.
Feveile doesn't think it has been moved since, as the golden neck ring is in mint condition and has maintained its shape.
"The gold is so pure and therefore also so soft that the ring would not have been able to keep its shape as nicely as it has, if it had been moved around with tools. At the same time, the excavation shows that we have found the very hole in which the neck ring was hidden".
Claus Feveile suggested that it was the owner's attempt to save the ring, which was to be dug up again, either when threatening enemies had receded, or when the value of the ring was needed.
But something unexpected must have happened, and the owner never returned to reclaim it, the archaeologist concluded.
Initially, the neck ring will be exhibited at the Ribe Viking Museum.