September 27, 2022

The 10th century golden Curmsun disk with the name of the Danish King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson (Curmsun in Latin) on it, taken from a grave in the Roman Catholic Church in Wiejkowo, Poland, photographed in Malmö, Sweden, in 2015. The Bluetooth wireless connection technology is named after the king. More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a Danish king whose nickname is known worldwide for Bluetooth technology is at the center of an archaeological dispute. Credit: Sven Rosborn via AP

More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a European king whose nickname lives on via wireless technology is at the center of an archaeological dispute.


According to medieval chronicles, King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson of Denmark got his nickname from a tooth, probably dead, that looked blue. A chronicle from the time also says that the Viking king was buried in Roskilde, in Denmark, at the end of the 10th century.

But a Swedish archaeologist and a Polish researcher recently claimed in separate publications that they found his most likely burial site in the village of Wiejkowo, in an area of ​​northwestern Poland linked to the Vikings in Harald’s time.

Marek Kryda, author of the book “Viking Poland,” told The Associated Press that a “pagan mound,” which he claims to have found beneath Wiejkowo’s 19th-century Roman Catholic church, likely contains the king’s remains. Kryda said geological satellite images available on a Polish government portal showed a circular shape that looked like a Viking burial mound.

But Swedish archaeologist Sven Rosborn says Kryda is wrong because Harald, who converted from paganism to Christianity and founded churches in the area, must have been given a suitable grave somewhere in the cemetery. Wiejkowo’s Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands atop a small round hill.

Is the Danish king who gave Bluetooth its name buried in Poland?

A view of a 2014 runic inscribed stone commemorating the Danish 10th-century king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, in Wolin, Poland, Saturday, July 30, 2022. More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a Danish king whose nickname is known worldwide due to the Bluetooth technology at the center of an archaeological dispute. A Polish researcher and a Swedish archaeologist claim they found the suspected burial place for King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson in a small village in northwestern Poland, an area once associated with the Vikings. Credit: AP photo Monika Scislowska

Historians at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen say they are familiar with the “suggestion” that Wiejkowo is Harald’s burial place.

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Rosborn detailed his research in the 2021 book “The Viking King’s Golden Treasure” and Kryda disputed some of the Swede’s findings in his own book published this year.

Harald, who died in 985, probably in Jomsborg – which is now believed to be the Polish city of Wolin – was one of the last Viking kings to rule over what is now Denmark, northern Germany and parts of Sweden and Norway. He spread Christianity in his kingdom.

Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson named its Bluetooth wireless connection technology after the king, a reflection of how he unified much of Scandinavia during his lifetime. The logo for the technology was designed based on the Scandinavian runic letters for the king’s initials, HB.

Is the Danish king who gave Bluetooth its name buried in Poland?

A view of a 2014 runic inscribed stone commemorating the Danish 10th-century king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, in Wolin, Poland, Saturday, July 30, 2022. More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a Danish king whose nickname is known worldwide due to the Bluetooth technology at the center of an archaeological dispute. A Polish researcher and a Swedish archaeologist claim they found the suspected burial place for King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson in a small village in northwestern Poland, an area once associated with the Vikings. Credit: AP photo Monika Scislowska

Rosborn, the former director of Sweden’s Malmö City Museum, got a boost in 2014 when an 11-year-old girl asked his opinion about a small, dirty coin-like object with old-looking text that was in her family’s possession. for decades.

Experts have determined that the cast gold disc that sparked Maja Sielski’s curiosity dates back to the 10th century. The Latin inscription on what is now known as the “Curmsun disk” says: “Harald Gormsson (Curmsun in Latin) king of Danes, Scania, Jomsborg, city of Aldinburg.”

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Sielski’s family, who moved to Sweden from Poland in 1986, said the disc came from a treasure found in 1841 in a grave beneath Wiejkowo Church, which replaced a medieval chapel.

The Sielski family came into possession of the disc in 1945, along with the parish archives of Wiejkowo, which contain medieval parchment chronicles in Latin, when the former German territory became part of Poland as a result of World War II.

  • Is the Danish king who gave Bluetooth its name buried in Poland?

    The Roman Catholic Church where the Danish King Harald Gormsson is believed to be buried, in Wiejkowo, Poland, Saturday, July 30, 2022. More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a Danish king whose nickname is known to the world via Bluetooth technology is at the center of an archaeological dispute. A Polish researcher and a Swedish archaeologist claim they found the suspected burial place for King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson in a small village in northwestern Poland, an area once associated with the Vikings. Credit: AP photo Monika Scislowska

  • Is the Danish king who gave Bluetooth its name buried in Poland?

    A view inside the Roman Catholic Church where the Danish King Harald Gormsson is believed to be buried, in Wiejkowo, Poland, on Saturday, July 30, 2022. More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a Danish king whose nickname is known to the world through Bluetooth technology is at the center of an archaeological dispute. A Polish researcher and a Swedish archaeologist claim they found the suspected burial place for King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson in a small village in northwestern Poland, an area once associated with the Vikings. Credit: AP photo Monika Scislowska

  • Is the Danish king who gave Bluetooth its name buried in Poland?

    The 10th century golden Curmsun disk with the name of the Danish King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson (Curmsun in Latin) on it, taken from a grave in the Roman Catholic Church in Wiejkowo, Poland, photographed in Malmö, Sweden, in 2015. The Bluetooth wireless connection technology is named after the king. More than 1,000 years after his death in what is now Poland, a Danish king whose nickname is known worldwide for Bluetooth technology is at the center of an archaeological dispute. Credit: Sven Rosborn via AP

A relative who knew Latin understood the value of the chronicles – dating back to the 10th century – and translated some of them into Polish. They mention Harald, another fact that connects the Wiejkowo Church with him.

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The nearby Baltic Sea island and town of Wolin cultivates the region’s Viking history: it has a rune stone in honor of Harald Bluetooth and hosts annual festivals of Slavs and Vikings.

Kryda says the Curmsun disk is “phenomenal” with its meaningful inscription and emphasizes that it would be worth investigating Wiejkowo as Harald’s burial place, but there are currently no plans for excavations.


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