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Medieval silver treasure found on Gotland

A silver treasure from the 12th century has been found on the Baltic island Gotland, where over 600 pieces of silver coins have been unearthed, according to reports in local media.

Medieval silver treasure found on Gotland

“This is an amazing find. It’s unbelievable that treasures of this scale exist here on Gotland,” Marie Louise Hellquist of Gotland’s County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) told local newspaper Hela Gotland.

The medieval treasure was uncovered last Monday, as the landowner was moving soil. Some 500 pieces of coin were discovered in the field, and following further searches conducted once archaeologists arrived on Wednesday, that figure has swollen considerably.

“In total we’ve reached 650 pieces, so far,” Hellquist said.

Silver coins were not the only items discovered, as both jewellery and a raw silver artefact, which archaeologists believe to be part of an ancient axe, have been found at the site.

All the items are believed to be from the 12th century.

“We’ve found coins dated 1130,” Hellquist said.

It’s still too soon to say what the treasure may be worth, she pointed out.

“First the coin specialists have to go through the coins and see how unusual they are,” she said to Hela Gotland, noting that she hoped the find will remain on the island, in Gotland’s museum.

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MILITARY

Sweden steps up Baltic defence in ‘signal’ to Russia

Sweden's defence minister has said his country is carrying out military exercises in the Baltic Sea to 'send a signal' to countries including Russia.

Sweden steps up Baltic defence in 'signal' to Russia
Swedish troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Photo: Joel Thungren/Försvarsmakten/TT

The so-called “high readiness action” means the Swedish army, navy and air force are currently more visible in the southeastern and southern Baltic Sea and on the island of Gotland.

No details have been disclosed about the number of troops involved in the action.

Sweden is “sending a signal both to our Western partners and to the Russian side that we are prepared to defend Sweden's sovereignty,” Hultqvist told news agency TT.


Ground troops on Gotland. Photo: Bezhav Mahmoud/Försvarsmakten/TT

“There is currently extensive military activity in the Baltic Sea, conducted by Russian as well as Western players, on a scale the likes of which have not been seen since the Cold War,” the Swedish Armed Forces' Commander of Joint Operations, Jan Thörnqvist, said in a statement.

“The exercise activities are more complex and have arisen more rapidly than before. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has caused global anxiety and uncertainty. Over all, the situation is more unstable and more difficult to predict,” Thörnqvist said.


A Visby-class corvette and two Jas Gripen jets in the air. Photo: Antonia Sehlstedt/Försvarsmakten/TT

Hultqvist said Sweden was also monitoring developments in Belarus “very closely”.

Non-Nato member Sweden, which has not been to war in two centuries and which slashed military spending at the end of the Cold War, reopened a garrison on Gotland in January 2018 amid concerns about Russian intentions in Europe and the Baltic.

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