Saturday, April 5, 2008

Discovery of Viking-Era Sasanian and Arab-Sasanian Coins in Sweden

News from CAIS LONDON, (CAIS) -- Swedish archaeologists say they have uncovered a horde of Viking-era silver coins near Stockholm's Arlanda international airport in the country's Uppland region. Swedish National Heritage Board (SNHB), announced the find as about 450 silver coins -- representing the largest collection of coins from the era found in the region during the modern age, Swedish news agency TT reported Friday. According to SNHB the coins are dated between 500 CE to 840 CE. The earliest coins are of Sasanian-Iran and later ones are Islamic Arab-Sasanian coins which were minted in Baghdad, Damascus and North Africa. The hoard appear to have been buried around 850 CE near a grave that is thought to be about 1,000 years older than the finds and no human remains were found. According to Karin Beckman-Thoor, an archaeologist with SNHB, Vikings that buried the hoard thought they may be guarded by the ancestral souls. In July 1999 and November 2006 over 1,100 similar coins belonging to Sasanian and Arab-Sasanian periods were discovered in Swedish island of Gotland. A number of news agencies including the BBC have reported the find as 470 purely Arab coins dated between 7th and 9th century CE.

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