Viking treasure found on Gotland

Two young men on Gotland have found Viking treasure dating to the 10th century.

The treasure cache consists of silver coins, weighing a total of around 3 kilos. They were discovered by 20-year-old Edvin Svanborg and his 17-year-old brother Arvid, who were working in the grounds of their neighbour, artist Lars Jonsson.

“I just stumbled by chance across an Arab silver coin that was around 1,100 years old,” Edvin Svanborg told news agency TT.

Svanborg says he is studying history, and recognized the coin as one that is commonly found on Gotland. He said he had seen pictures of similar coins in the past.

The brothers started looking for more coins, and quickly realised that they had found something very valuable. In quite a small space they found around 1,100 coins and a few bracelets. Most of the treasure was in good condition, although rabbits had left their mark on some of the coins.

This was the first time that the Svanborg brothers had found treasure, although Edvin said he hoped to find more in the future.

“I’m planning to study to become an archaeologist,” he said.

The brothers are now likely to get a reward, after handing over the treasure to the authorities. It is so far unclear how much they will receive.

“But that’s not the most important thing. The point is finding a treasure trove,” Edvin said.

Majvor Östergren at Gotland county administrative board praised the brothers for handing in the treasure.

“They acted in an examplary fashion.”

Gotland is an archaeologist’s paradise, where there have been discoveries of a large number of Viking treasures. Farmer Björn Engström found the world’s largest ever haul of Viking treasure on the north-eastern part of the island a few years ago.

The loot included coins, necklaces and other jewelry, which altogether contained 65 kilos of silver and 20 kilos of bronze. He was given 2.1 million kronor as a reward.