Norwegians find historic coin depicting Jesus


Northern Europe

Photo Martine Kaspersen, Innlandet County Municipality.

Norwegians are under the spell of a thousand-year-old coin depicting Jesus. “It is an exceptionally special find.”

More than three thousand kilometres. That’s how far the over-thousand-year-old gold coin travelled until it landed on Norwegian soil. Authorities call the find a “special discovery.”

The coin was found earlier this year by someone with a metal detector near the Norwegian Sea, writes “The piece has held up exceptionally well. It appears largely unchanged since its loss,” comments the municipality in its publication.

The coin originated in the Byzantine Empire, probably in the capital Constantinople, which is now Istanbul. On one side, Christ is holding a Bible, and on the other, there are two Roman emperors. It also has two inscriptions: “Jesus Christ, King of those who reign” and “Basil and Constantine, emperors of the Romans”. The authorities estimate that the coin was struck late in the reigns of Basil II and Constantine VIII, sometime between 977 and 1025 AD.

Norwegian archaeologists say the coin is “unique in the Norwegian context.” The coin is expected to be from the Norwegian Viking king Harald Hårdråde, who ruled from the year 1045 to the year 1066.

According to the archaeologists, a priest may have lost the unique gold coin in Valdres during his journey along the so-called Bishop’s Road. This writes the Christian news outlet Världen Idag. The area was part of Björgvin’s diocese until the year 1125. The coin could also be derived from that time’s trade in salt, herring, reindeer skins, and horns.

As yet, the municipality states that there is no possibility to further investigate the site's immediate surroundings. “The coin find was made so late in the autumn that we have not had time to examine the find site yet. This will be done when the field season starts again in 2024.”



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