Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Sweden’s Sandby borg yields gold

Four miles off the Swedish coast in the Baltic Sea, the rocky island of Öland was the site of mass murder. In 2010, archaeologists uncovered scores of skeletons that had initially been left unburied. They estimate that the massacre at Sandby borg took place in the 5th century. The fort’s 15-foot-tall ramparts were no match for the attackers. A discovery of two gold rings and a coin at the site may hint at the motive.

The gold gives credence to the theory that the island may have had ties to the Roman Empire. At the site of an important house the team uncovered pieces of Roman glass. The coins roughly date to the time of the massacre and depict Emperor Valentinian III, who ruled between 425 and 455.
Most mysterious is the fact the site was not looted. Even the murdered inhabitants’ valuable horses were tied up and left to starve.