Sensational gold discovery
The Country Conservators of Østfold have now delivered an exciting gold discovery from Kleberget in Moss to the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo.
The three “betalingsringene” (payment-rings) of gold are from Norway’s migration period, and appeared during the renovation of a building in the spring of 2010.
“There has not been gold found in an archaeological context in Moss before. In the national context, this is also of great importance,” said archaeologist Anne Skullerud with the County Conservator. She has been researching the discovery, has made preliminary investigations at the site, and has kept in touch with finder Frode Nystad, who found the rings in spring of 2010. 107.3 grams of gold has been found total, valued at about 28,000 NOK (about 5,100 USD).
The area where the discovery was made has now been completely examined by the Museum of Cultural History, with a metal detector, without any further discoveries being made.
“I stepped on something, picked it up, and initially thought it was part a tool,” said Nystad to Østfold Fylkeskommune. But the weight didn’t quite match. Thus came a growing suspicion that this was something special. When Nystad went home, he started his investigation. After a while he contacted the police and handed over the gold rings.
“What is a bit annoying, is that I actually found two other rings before when I was clearing the site. But I did not know what they were. So I threw them in the garbage bin. It was taken away before I realized what I had found,” said Nystad.
“These payment-rings of gold normally date back to the migration period (400-570 AD). This is probably a matter of a repository or offering. Not much else is known. The reason for this is that the discovery of the gold rings, in the wake of the action on the property, was not reported to the County Conservators of Østfold County right away. Much of the knowledge of the context of the rings’ discovery is therefore lost. Gold findings of this type are very rare. This is the first discovery of this kind in Moss. Gold was used as payment, and this finding represents a significant value from a past society. The owner of the gold probably belonged to the upper echelons of the population,” said archaeologist Anne Skullerud.
“The circumstances of this finding emphasize the importance of contacting an archaeologist once you suspect that the discovery is older than the year 1537 (the Reformation)…I would also point out that if you deliver prehistoric objects of precious metal, you are normally entitled to a reward that is greater than the current metal value of the discovery,” she says.
Source: Østfold Fylkeskommune
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