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15.05.2021

Sundveda Hoard

The Sundveda Hoard is a Viking-era hoard of 482 silver coins found in 2008 in Sundveda between the towns of Märsta and Sigtuna, near Stockholm in Sweden. It is the largest silver hoard found in the Mälaren region since 1827.

The Sundveda Hoard was discovered by archaeologists from the Swedish National Heritage Board during a survey of a grave in Sundveda. The survey was commissioned by the Stockholm County Administrative Board as part of preparatory work prior to the construction of a new residential area.

The discovery of the treasure, which was described as a surprise, led to a more thorough survey of the grave. In addition to the silver hoard, bone fragments and other small objects were found in the grave. Analysis showed that the bones belonged to a person who lived in the middle of the 7th century, i.e. about 200 years before the treasure was placed there. In contrast, analysis of fragments of charcoal found in the tomb dated them to about 100 AD. Archaeologists believe that the site may have had three different periods of use: the first period of construction in the first or second century, but without burial; burial about 500 years later; and finally the placement of the silver hoard in the same place during the Viking era. There are several theories as to why the hoard was buried at this site. The silver coins could have been received as payment for trade in today's Baltic countries or Russia. Or they could have been given as payment to a local resident for serving as a mercenary abroad.

This hoard is the largest silver hoard discovered in the Mälaren region since 1827.

The treasure consists of 482 coins, of which all but one (a Carolingian coin) are of eastern origin. 109 of the coins were intact at the time of discovery, while the rest were damaged or fragments of coins. Judging by the way the coins were found, it is possible that they were placed in the grave in a sack. The geographic range of origin of the coins is extensive, including North Africa, modern Iran, Russia, the Arabian Peninsula and northern India. The oldest coins belong to the pre-Islamic period. The most commonly represented category of coins is from the Abbasid Caliphate. Some of these coins were made in Baghdad and Damascus.

Judging by the age of the coins, the hoard could have been deposited at this site no earlier than the middle of the ninth century. This makes it one of the earliest hoards of the Viking Age found on the Swedish mainland.

The total weight of the treasure is about 660 grams (23 ounces).

In 2008-2009 the treasure was on public display at the Sigtuna Museum in Sigtuna.

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