There’s a lot more to Vikings than longboats and horned helmets.
Just ask retired businessman Derek McLennan. He just stumbled upon one of the biggest troves of Viking artifacts ever. His haul contains more than 100 precious finds including an Early Medieval cross, silver ingots and even gold rings. The whole stash is believed to be worth somewhere around $1 million.
So how does one “stumble upon” one of the greatest discoveries in modern history?
McLennan came across the artifacts last month while using a metal detector in a field belonging to the Church of Scotland (the exact location is being kept a secret, until it’s confirmed that all the artifacts have been found). At first, he didn’t think what he came across was anything more than an ordinary silver spoon. But after a closer look, he realized he was very, very wrong.
“…My senses exploded, I went into shock, endorphins flooded my system and away I went stumbling towards my colleagues waving it in the air,” he told the BBC.
In addition to what he thought was a spoon, some of McLennan’s other amazing finds include an unopened, silver Carolingian pot (possibly the largest ever discovered) and the aforementioned cross, which experts say is covered with unusual decoration.
“There’s material from Ireland, from Scandinavia, from various places in Central Europe and perhaps ranging over a couple of centuries,” said Stuart Campbell, head of Scotland’s treasure trove unit. “So this has taken some effort for individuals to collect together.”
The Vikings were known to have discovered several countries, including Greenland, Iceland and even America. Experts are hoping the new discovery will help shed some light on Scotland’s history, and its connection to these Nordic people.
After all, it’s not like the doors to Valhalla will be opening anytime soon.