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Viking hoard includes Christian artifacts, Byzantine Church was rich

In recent weeks, there have been revelations from museums about their discoveries related to Christianity, such as 1,100 year-old crucifix found in Denmark, a piece of pottery that gives clues to early Christians in Roman London, and inscriptions in a 500-year Bible about the Reformation. There are more.

Last week, the contents of a Viking hoard was disclosed and some of them might have been taken from monasteries.

According to the National Geographic, there were two treasure troves found during the controlled dig done by archaeologists. The one in the upper layer contained arm rings, a gold bird-shaped pin, and 67 silver ingots. The one lower in the ground was a rare Carolingian vessel of silver-copper alloy packed with carefully wrapped treasures.

"It's a strange and wonderful selection of objects," Edinburgh Viking specialist and independent scholar Olwyn Owen said, as quoted by the NatGeo. "[The Viking owners of the trove] filled the vessel right to the top, and then they wrapped it in layers of textiles and put it in the ground."

"Nothing was thrown in the vessel," says Owen. "[The objects] were wrapped with great care and packed extremely tightly together, and they are such special objects that they were clearly enormously important to their Viking owner."

This includes nine richly ornamented silver brooches that means that "some Anglo-Saxon monastery or settlement had a very bad day," said Owen. A gold pendant was also found, and it could have once been decorated by a saintly relic as well as an enameled medieval Christian cross. 

According to The Guardian, the treasure trove that contains more than 100 items was found by a recreational archeolist/ metal-detector enthusiast in the Galloway region in Scotland in September 2014. Based on the items in the collection, archaeoligists have dated the artifacts to the early 10th century.

Meanwhile, artifacts and a mosaic were discovered in the excavation at the Byzantine Church in the south of Jerusalem in Israel. According to Breaking Israel News, there was a handle bearing the seal of the Three Bibical Magi, along with pieces of pottery, coints, and glass items.

"The findings at the church indicate great wealth," Haim Shkolnik, the one who led the excavation, told Tazpit Press Service. "There were many types of marble and glass used and it had drainage channels, a rare feature for Byzantine churches. It also had an underground crypt with two staircases leading down to it, which is also a very rare feature."

Worship was reportedly done in a cave at first, some time in the fourth century, then in the fifth century, the church was built and the cave was used as a crypt. It was during the Byzantine era that the basilica complex was built. However, after the Muslim conquest, it was no longer used as a church.

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