Archaeologists discovered 35 small pieces of gold that existed from around the 5th – 8th centuries under an ancient temple in Vingrom village, on the outskirts of Lillehammer.

Small gold pieces intricately carved in Norway. Photo: Nicolai Eckhoff

The gold pieces are square, as large as a fingernail, extremely thin, and engraved with images of women and men wearing gorgeous costumes, Newsweek reported on September 18. Some engravings show a couple facing each other, the man on the left and the woman on the right, according to University of Oslo archaeologist Nicolai Eckhoff, a member of the excavation team at Vingrom village. This gold exists from the Meroving dynasty – the family that ruled the Frankish kingdom from the 5th century to around 751.

“The gold pieces are very small but the patterns are extremely detailed. Typically, women wear skirts, sometimes with straps and capes, men wear shorter skirts that expose their feet and may also wear capes. Both can wear jewelry, have different hairstyles, and hold different things like drinking glasses, wands, rings, or use their hands to make different gestures. These gold pieces are detailed and diverse. to the point that they are a resource for studying the costumes and symbols of the time,” Eckhoff said.

The discovery of such gold pieces in Norway is extremely rare. Only 10 locations have ever found them, usually ancient places of worship.

“Most explanations suggest that the gold pieces have mythological or ritual significance. There are opinions that the gold pieces with couple motifs depict the sacred wedding between the gods Froy and Gerd, or were once used as offerings during weddings or fertility rituals,” Eckhoff said.

However, there is also another theory that they are a form of temple money. “The gold pieces found during this year’s survey were associated with boreholes and corridors. Their appearance in the building and in the holes of the roof’s load-bearing columns suggests they may have been offerings, markers for seating, halls or worship rooms,” Eckhoff added.

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