Ancient gold treasures depicting Norse gods unearthed in Norway: “A very special find”


Dozens of ancient gold foil figurines depicting images of Norse gods have been unearthed in Norway, archaeologists said, marking at least the third discovery of treasure in the country in recent weeks. According to Cultural History Museum in Oslo, a total of 35 gold pieces have been found at the site of a pagan temple near a farm in Vingrom, which is about 100 miles south of the country’s capital Oslo.

The small, thin gold foil artifacts date back about 1,400 years to the Merovingian period in Norway, which began in 550 and lasted until about 800, experts say. The figurines – which show images of Frøy and Gerd, a god and fertility goddess – were discovered at the pagan temple site where experts believe people worshiped and made offerings to the gods, according to Science Norway.

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Gold foil figurines from the Norwegian Merovingian period (550-800).

Museum of Cultural History / University of Oslo


“It’s a very special find”, says archaeologist Kathrine Stene, who led the excavation. told LiveScience.com.

Stene told Science Norway that three of the gold foils were found where the temple’s wall once stood, and two others were found in post holes that once held support beams – meaning they were likely discovered in the places where they were originally placed.

“It’s extra special that we can link the gold foil figures to the different parts of the building’s construction,” Stene said.

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Five new gold-foil figures found in Norway.

Museum of Cultural History / University of Oslo


The temple was originally discovered in 1993 along with two gold foils.

Ingunn Marit Røstad, archaeologist at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, told Science Norway that she believes more such treasures will be found.

“More of these little pieces of gold keep turning up, either through excavation or with metal detectors. So more may also turn up in different places in Norway,” she said.

The news comes on the heels of two other discoveries of ancient artifacts in Norway.

Last month, a family searched for a lost gold earring in their garden with a metal detector discovered grave treasure from the Viking Age. Over the summer, a Norwegian man with a metal detector found nine pendants, three rings and 10 gold beads in what was described as the country’s “Gold find of the century”, officials announced last month.


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