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.
Historians at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen say they are familiar with the “suggestion” that Wiejkowo is Harald’s burial place.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Archaeologists find silver treasure on German Baltic island
© 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Quote: Is the Danish king who gave Bluetooth its name buried in Poland? (2022, July 31) Retrieved July 31, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-danish-king-gave-bluetooth-poland.html
This document is copyrighted. Other than fair dealing for personal study or research, nothing may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.