It looked like a pile of trash or junk jewelry to a cartographer updating a map outside a small town in western Sweden. It turned out to be a treasure trove of 2,500-year-old jewelry from the Bronze Age that was just sitting on top of some dirt. The find of about 50 ancient necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets found in April represents one of “the most spectacular and largest cache finds” from the Bronze Age ever in the Nordic country, officials said. The jewelry most likely belonged to women of high status.
The bronze relics are believed to be from the period between 750 and 500 BC. The jewelry was probably dug up by animals. Swedish archaeologists say it is very rare to find such a hoard in a forest. Ancient tribes usually left such offerings in rivers or wetlands. Tomas Karlsson, the cartographer who made the discovery when he was out updating a map, at first thought it was just junk. He said he looked closer and saw a spiral and a necklace.
Karlsson reported the find to local authorities who sent out a team of archaeologists to examine the site. Swedish law requires anyone finding such antiquities to notify the police or local authority, as they are regarded as state property. The Swedish National Heritage Board then decides what reward, if any, the finder should receive.