Teen Stumbles on Treasure Tied to King Bluetooth

Pearls, jewelry, coins unearthed by archaeologists in weekend dig
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2018 9:45 AM CDT
Updated Apr 22, 2018 6:04 PM CDT
Treasure Tied to King Bluetooth Found on German Island
In this April 13, 2018, photo, an archaeologist holds an ancient Danish coin minted under King Harald 'Bluetooth' Gormsson.   (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP)

"Bluetooth" may strike you as an entirely modern word, but it's one found in the pages of history by way of Danish king Harald Gormsson, or "Harry Bluetooth", as he was known—and treasure connected to him has reportedly just been found. The Guardian reports 13-year-old Luca Malaschnitschenko and an amateur archaeologist were searching a German island with metal detectors in January when they came upon what turned out to be a silver piece. That spurred a larger dig involving experts, who over the weekend covered 4,300 square feet on Rügen island and turned up jewelry, pearls, a Thor's hammer, and coins, some of which date to Bluetooth's time; he ruled for just shy of 30 years beginning in roughly AD 958. The lead archaeologist calls it "the biggest single discovery of Bluetooth coins in the southern Baltic Sea region."

"We have here the rare case of a discovery that appears to corroborate historical sources," says an archaeologist, referring to the dates of the coins found there: between AD 714 and 983, which may indicate the loot was buried in the late 980s. That would sync with when Bluetooth fled to the area once known as Pomerania (now parts of Germany and Poland) after his son staged a rebellion against him. Bluetooth died there in 987, but not before making his mark by replacing Norse religion with Christianity in Denmark, which he unified. The coins feature a Christian cross, notes the Local, which describes them as some of the country's first "independent" coins. And, yes, Bluetooth technology got its name from the king. As for where the king got his name, the AP reports one of his teeth was dead and had a bluish tint. (Legendary lost gold may have been found.)

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