Archaeologists find ‘spectacular’ gold ring engraved with Chris’s face | World | News

Archaeologists digging along the shores of the Swedish city of Kalmar struck lucky when they uncovered a hoard of ancient artefacts.

A two-year dig in the city’s Old Town was the centre of life in the region from the beginning of the 13th century to the middle of the 17th century.

Excavations have targeted around 50 medieval plots, 10 streets and parts of the Old City wall.

The dig is unique in that its extent has never been seen in other Old Towns around Europe, all of which hold untold secrets beneath their streets.

While the archaeologists expected to find at least some relics, their actual findings have surpassed anything they could have hoped for.

Among the finds include the remains of hundreds of buildings, cellars, streets, latrines, and objects dating from 1250 to 1650.

“We have been able to lift the lid on the city’s Middle Ages and have had the opportunity to study how people lived, what they ate and drank and how this changed over time,” said lead archaeologist Magnus Stibéus in a statement.

Archaeology becomes like a peephole into medieval history that allows us to learn more about how life was several hundred years ago.”

Some 30,000 objects have been identified so far, but two “spectacular” finds have caught their attention the most: a gold ring depicting the face of Jesus Christ, and a “very special” artefact known as an “alsengem.”

The ring is believed to date back to the beginning of the 15th century, with archaeologists concluding that was likely worn by a woman because of its small size, according to the archaeologists writing about their research on Arkeologerna.

The alsengem, meanwhile, is a type of small glass setting stone used in both secular and religious contexts, but in the instance believed to have been used by pilgrims as amulets.

The piece found at Kalmar probably comes from the 13th to 14th centuries, and is adorned with three carved figures.

“Of course, it’s great fun to find something like that,” Stibéus said. “The gold ring was in almost new condition with a Christ motif and was found, like the alsengem, in contexts that we interpreted as waste storage. Probably someone was unlucky and lost the ring 500 years ago. The alsengem is broken and may have been thrown away.”

Another unusual find came in the form of the remains of a rune stone. It may have come from a burial mound in a cemetery that existed in the cemetery at some point during the 12th century.

Archaeologists also found signs of the Kalmar War that brought close quarters combat to the city in 1611, a conflict fought between the Denmark-Norway Union and the Swedish Empire between 1611 and 1613.

Stibéus said: “The investigations show that virtually all farms were burned in connection with the Danes’ attack on the city in the summer of 1611.

“This is visible above all through fire horizons and razed buildings. We have also found a large number of projectiles, such as cannonballs, musket balls and pistol bullets, but also swords.”

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