Teenage boy finds treasure linked to Viking king


René Schön and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnitschenko were rummaging around with metal detectors on the German island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea when they happened upon the ancient treasure in January. He not only brought Christianity to Denmark in the 10th century, but was also the inspiration for today's Bluetooth technology.

The discoverers of the treasure belong to about 150 active volunteer in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, who in their spare time with metal detectors and Global Positioning System devices run over the fields in the northeast stripe.

When they washed their find, they realised it was a piece of silver, according to local media.

Many think the treasure may have been buried sometime around the late 980s when Bluetooth had to flee to Pomerania - a region including parts of modern northeast Germany and western Poland - due to his son Sven Gabelbart, who rebelled against him and took over the throne.

The 400 square metre dig has so far yielded braided necklaces, pearls, brooches, a Thor's hammer, rings and up to 600 chipped coins.

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However, when they took it to the State Office, the find was revealed to be much more - a silver coin, later identified as hailing from the Viking Age trading settlement of Hedeby.

The Viking-born king is regarded by historians as the founder of the Danish empire and is credited with unifying the country under one flag. He ruled between 958 and 986 and came to be known as Bluetooth because of his dead, blue-ish looking tooth.

"We have here the rare case of a discovery that appears to corroborate historical sources", archaeologist Detlef Jantzen said.

The site of the treasure trove, Schaprode, is near where a 16-piece gold hoard dating from Bluetooth's reign was found in the 19th century. The symbol of Bluetooth is also a mixture of two letters of runic alphabets representing the initials of King Harald.