Gilded horse mounts of Viking confidant of the king found in Denmark

Gilded bronze and silver-plated mounts from a horse bridle have been discovered in the town of Hørning near Skanderborg in Jutland, Denmark along with the remains of a Viking to whom these artifacts belonged to.
The find consists of two cross-shaped fittings and a rectangular buckle.  They are now on display at the Museum of Skaderborg.

Merethe Schifter Bagge, a project manager and archaeologist at the museum said the artifacts are exquisite and so rare that it is considered among some of the greatest archaeological discoveries in Danish history. It dates back to 950 AD which could mean the Viking who owned them could have been a confidant of the king and it is believed to be a gift of alliance from the king. This type of bridle was only available to the most powerful people in the Viking Age

The Museum of Skanderborg archaeologists has secured funding for a full excavation of the area including a huge grave complex, which is unusually large for the time period.

Archaeologists hope to gai…

New discovery from the Benešov Superbolide found 20 years later

Three of the meteorite fragments found by Mr. Spurný and his team.

Meteorite fragments from a famous Superbolide named Benešov, which occurred more than 20 years ago in the skies of the Czech Republic, has been discovered. These spectacular events are relatively rare and due to the force of the impact causing displacement during the collision and other natural causes like wind speed at the time the fragments enter the atmosphere, makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact location where they have fallen on Earth.The Benešov Superbolide was recorded by the European Fireball Network during systematic photographic observations and certainly produced multiple meteorite falls with thousands of fragments, but despite many attempts, none were found even years after the fall. The recent discovery was made possible when Mr. Pavel Spurný of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and his colleagues used improved methods to analyze the records of the data of the event. With the revised trajectory they pin pointed a new impact location which was moved approximately 330 meters from the previous inaccurately generated data.

The revised projection pinpointed the accurate impact location

The location where any meteorite remains is calculated to have fallen lies in an agricultural field which has been plowed multiple times since the event, and is subjected to winter frosts reaching a depth of 30 cm. It is likely that any meteorite fragments will have been buried at depth of 30-40 cm. Such conditions are far from ideal for searching for the meteorite remains, however, the spectrographic analysis suggested that it was chondritic in nature, and likely to have a very high iron content, resulting in metal detectors forming an important role in the locating of meteorites laying undiscovered buried in the Earth. Spurný, therefore, assembled a team of about 20 searchers equipped with metal detectors following the gain of permission from the landowner and made a series of transverse scans of the field a few hundred meters long and about fifteen meters wide, centered on the calculated line of highest probability for meteorite finds.

View of the Benešov Superbolide when it occurred more than 20 years ago.

The team found four small, highly-weathered meteorites that are of three different mineralogical types. The probability that these four fragments come from different meteoroids and were found by chance at the same place is estimated to be 1 in 100,000 or less which provided important information about the Benešov meteoroid and lead to the discovery that it was heterogeneous. After the Almahata Sitta fall, this is the second occurance of heterogeneous composition that has been found. It raises the possibility that a significant fraction of all asteroids are heterogeneous and that they are strongly reprocessed by collisions with other asteroids in the main belt.Hunting for meteorite fragments is highly profitable. Because of their scarcity, they are priced and sold by the gram. Availability, size of the specimen, and the amount and quality of preparation that went into the piece also affects the price.  One small piece can cost as much as £6,500.



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