A 1,000-year-old Medieval treasure trove, including four golden ear pendants, two strips of gold leaf, and 39 silver coins were found by a Dutch historian, according to the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities on Thursday.
Lorenzo Ruijter found the hoard using a metal detector in Hoogwoud, a small city in North Holland, in 2021. The metal detectorist had to keep it a secret for two years, while experts at the National Museum of Antiquities cleaned, researched, and dated the objects.
“It was very special discovering something this valuable, I can’t really describe it. I never expected to discover anything like this,” Ruijter told Reuters.
One of the coins dated back to 1250 CE, which researchers believe was around the time the treasure would have been buried. By that time, however, the jewelry would have already been at least two centuries old.
“Golden jewelry from the High Middle Ages is extremely rare in the Netherlands,” the museum noted.
It’s ultimately unclear why the treasure was buried. The museum, however, noted that Hoogwoud was located at the center of a war between the Dutch regions West Friesland and Holland in the mid-13th century.
Though Ruijter owns the piece, the treasure is currently on loan with the museum, which plans to display it.