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Cache of 1,500-Year-Old Gold Pendants Found in Norway

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

ØSTFOLD, NORWAY—Science Norway reports that seven gold pendants, or bracteates, estimated to be 1,500 years old have been unearthed in southeastern Norway by archaeologists Jessica Leigh McGraw, Margrete Figenschou Simonsen, and Magne Samdal of the University of Oslo Museum of Cultural History. Such pendants, they explained, were inspired by medallions from the Roman Empire. In Scandinavia, the portrait of the emperor was replaced with Norse gods and Germanic-style animal figures. Bracteates could be worn as jewelry, or offered as votive gifts to the gods. This cache may have been buried as an offering in the sixth century A.D., at a time when volcanic eruptions led to thick ash clouds, lack of sunshine, and crop failures. To read about a recently discovered Viking temple, go to "Around the World: Norway."

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