Skip to comments.Treasure trove reveals Iron Age town [Sweden]
Posted on 11/29/2013 6:27:14 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Västra Vång in Blekinge is now a sleepy rural community on Swedens southern Baltic coast. It has never been mentioned in ancient or medieval writings. So why are gold figurines and bronze busts turning up there? ...
No less than 29 guldgubbar have been found beneath the turf. The term means little old man of gold, and is also found in Norway and Denmark. These are thin pieces of hammered gold, fashioned as clothed men or women.
The figurines date back to the 6th century AD and were made for a few centuries. They are made of very thinly beaten gold and only a centimetre or two in height. But their significance towers over their size, according to the Swedish archaeologists.
The discovery of gold from this period shows that people in the area served as soldiers in the Roman Army, says Björn Nilsson, of Södertörn University College in a press release.
Up here in the Nordic countries the gold coins that had been paid to the soldiers were melted down and formed into guldgubbar and guldkoner [gold wives]," he said.
These gold figurines are most often found in spots which once had a significant political or ritual status, according to Blekinge Museum.
This is Swedens third largest treasure trove of guldgubbar. Soil in Vång also concealed five small bronze busts and a large assortment of undeterminable metal objects....
Västra Vång is centrally located by the Baltic, which since prehistory has been a thriving area for Northern European sea traffic and trade. The archaeologists conclude that these discoveries show Vångs Iron Age residents were well acquainted with their contemporary world, near and far.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenordic.com ...
Two of the busts are distinctly different than the others. They have a typical Roman appearance and were probably once mounted on a bronze vessel. This well-made head dates to the 3rd century AD. (Photo: Max Jahrehorn, Blekinge Museum)
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Vastra Vang was the Las Vegas of old Sweden. Tourists came from all over the world to try their luck at the Viking games of chance like CATCH THE MOOSE and WHO CAN HOLD THEIR HAND IN THE FIRE THE LONGEST? They had spectacular entertainment like Gurd The Magician who was famous for making entire French towns disappear. And the food! Creamed Herring and cabbage! Yep, tourists came and spent their gold figurines there like they were going out of style.
Interesting. I find myself thinking of a Rumpelstiltskin-type character with the guldgubbar (which also sounds Ferengi!).
like tourists have ever been in style
no kidding since all i need is one half from a short sheep
"The discovery of gold from this period shows that people in the area served as soldiers in the Roman Army..."
Sixth-century: not even possibly the Western Empire's "Roman Army".
Possibly the Army of the Eastern Roman Empire?
Haven't I read somewhere Vikings did serve there?
But these were not Vikings, right?
Nice maps, but what do the colors mean?
By the map dated 600 AD, notice the Western Roman Empire has disappeared while the Eastern Empire expanded somewhat into former western territories.
My point is: these "guldgubbars" are said to come from Sixth Century Roman Empire military service -- meaning the 500s AD, a time during which the Western Roman Empire collapsed, but the Eastern Roman Empire began with 320,000 lbs of gold in its treasury.
So I'm only suggesting it's far more likely these people served in the Eastern Roman Army than the in the west.
Just seems a bit odd to me the article did not specify which Roman Empire the Swedish pre-Vikings served.
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