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Sábado, 05.04.08

Swedes find Viking-era Arab coins

Ancient Arab coins found in Sweden (pic: Swedish National Heritage Board)
The Arab coins reveal where they were minted and the date

Swedish archaeologists have discovered a rare hoard of Viking-age silver Arab coins near Stockholm's Arlanda airport.

About 470 coins were found on 1 April at an early Iron Age burial site. They date from the 7th to 9th Century, when Viking traders travelled widely.

There has been no similar find in that part of Sweden since the 1880s.

Most of the coins were minted in Baghdad and Damascus, but some came from Persia and North Africa, said archaeologist Karin Beckman-Thoor.

The team from the Swedish National Heritage Board had just started removing a stone cairn at the site "when we suddenly found one coin and couldn't understand why it was there", she told the BBC News website.

Sweden map

"We continued digging and found more coins and realised it was a Viking-age hoard." The coins were left there in about AD850, she said.

Such Viking hoards usually come from Gotland - a large Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, she explained.

"No Viking was buried at this site - the grave is older. Maybe the Vikings thought the hoard would be protected by ancestors," Ms Beckman-Thoor added. Vikings had settled in a village nearby.

The Vikings travelled widely in their longships in the Baltic region and Russia from the late 8th to the 11th Century. They are known to have travelled as far as North Africa and Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Fonte: (4 Abr 2008). BBC, news:

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por noticiasdearqueologia às 11:56

Domingo, 18.11.07

Baltic yields 'perfect' shipwreck

A near-intact shipwreck apparently dating from the 17th century has been found in the Baltic Sea, Swedish television has said.

The discovery was made during filming for an under-water documentary series.

Public service SVT television said the wreck could be from the same era as the famous Vasa warship, which sank on its maiden voyage in August 1628.

The broadcaster said the Baltic's low oxygen content and low temperature had helped preserve the wreck.

Baltic shipwreck

The shipwreck was filmed by a remote-controlled submarine

SVT said the origins of the ship were unclear but its features resembled the work of Dutch ship-builders from the period.

"Experts who have studied video of the ship conclude that it is probably the best-preserved ship ever seen from this period," the station said.

A press release provided by SVT quoted marine archaeologist MR Manders as saying he was "overwhelmed" by the condition of the wreck.

"You can hardly call this a shipwreck," he is quoted as saying.

Mr Manders said the boat was likely to have been a trading vessel, 20-25m long, with two or perhaps three masts.

Excellent visibility

The location of the wreck, between the Swedish mainland and Latvia, had been pinpointed in 2003.

Underwater wreck carvings

Carvings suggest a Dutch vessel (Photo: Deep Sea Production)

But it was only in May this year, during filming for The Wreck Divers documentary series, that full exploration and filming with a remotely-operated submarine took place.

The programme's executive producer, Malcolm Dixelius, told the BBC the ship was found at a depth of 125m - offering "excellent" visibility.

The relative lack of oxygen in the water and its low temperature meant the ship had been amazingly well-preserved, he said.

SVT says the vessel probably dates from the same period as the Vasa warship, which was discovered in 1956 and brought to the surface.

The museum where it is kept is now one of the main tourist attractions in Stockholm.

In: (15 Nov 2007). BBC, News:

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por noticiasdearqueologia às 22:57

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