A “unique” earring more than 1,000 years old was recently found in a field in Bovling, in the west of the Jutland peninsula (Denmark). According to experts, this gem probably had its origin in Egypt.
The earring was found by a person using a metal detector and consists of a golden crescent-shaped plate with enamel decoration showing two birds around a tree. According to one of the researchers’ theories, this represents the tree of life of both Islamic and Christian cultures.
“There is only between 10 and 12 pieces of this type all over the world, all in old museum collections in the US, UK or Arab countries, “he told Danish Radio the archaeologist and inspector of the National Museum Peter Pentz, who adds that “a piece of this type is unique“and it is” interesting “how it ended up in Jutland.
Pentz and his colleagues theorize that one of the rulers of the Byzantine Empire gifted the pendant to a Danish Viking who was part of his Scandinavian war service, known as the Varangian Guard.
Another possible explanation is that the jewel was brought to Jutland by a Danish pilgrim returning from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Pentz described this finding as an eight on a scale of 1 to 10, due to the elaborate enamel work. similar to the Byzantine relief of the cross of Dagmar, found in 1683 in the tomb of Queen Degmar in the Danish city of Ringsted.
“In quality, the enamel on the earring is not as good as the Dagmar cross. But while the Dagmar cross was found in a queen’s tomb, where the context presents itself, this earring was found without any context in a field in West Jutland, “Prentz said.
The expert also added that the earring was probably made in Cairo (Egypt) due to its similarities with other crescent-shaped ornaments from that country.
The jewel has undergone the relevant cleaning and preservation processes and is currently part of an exhibition at the National Museum showing Denmark’s largest collection of Viking-era treasures.