Erlend Bore struck gold. It was his doctor’s orders.
Earlier this year, Bore’s doctor told him to get outside instead of sitting on the sofa so much. The 51-year-old Norwegian promptly bought his first metal detector.
He started walking around the mountainous island of Rennesoey, Norway, in August. He first found some scrap. Then one day he wondered if his metal detector had picked up foil-covered chocolate money buried in the soil.
It wasn’t chocolate. It was nine pendants, three rings, and 10 gold pearls about 1,500 years old.
Ole Madsen is the director at the Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger. He said that finding “so much gold at the same time is extremely unusual.”
Norwegian law regards objects dating from before 1537 and coins older than 1650 as state property. Such items must be given to authorities.
Associate professor Håkon Reiersen works at the museum. He believes the gold pendants are from around A.D. 500. They are flat, thin, gold medals called bracteates.
Reiersen notes the pendants and gold pearls were made by skilled jewelers. They were worn by the most powerful members of society.
Professor Sigmund Oehrl also works at the museum. He says symbols on such pendants usually show the Norse god Odin healing his son’s sick horse. On the gold pendants Erlend Bore found, the horse’s tongue hangs out. Oehrl observes, “Its slumped posture and twisted legs show that it is injured.”
“The horse symbol represented illness and distress, but at the same time hope for healing and new life,” he adds.
Jesus says the kingdom of heaven “is like treasure hidden in a field.” The man who finds it “goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
Golden artifacts are a thrill to find. They teach us history. But there is something more valuable than gold. That’s the true healing and new life Jesus gives us.
Bore’s treasure will be exhibited at the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger, Norway.
What will Mr. Bore find next with his
metal detector? What might we all find if we got off our sofas? There are
treasures everywhere. Look for bird nests, colorful leaves, rocks, and maybe
even a little gold.
To read more about metal detector finds, see Milly Hardwick’s Bronze Hoard.