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Medieval treasures showing West Frisians had an ‘international network’

Photo: Archeology West-Friesland/Fleur Schinning

A medieval treasury dating back to around the year 1000, it offers evidence of a “money-based international network” in the north of the Netherlands. on show at the Archaeological Museum RMO in Leiden on Thursday.

Consisting of four gold earrings, two gold leaves and 39 silver coins, the treasure was discovered in 2021 by a young historian conducting a metal detecting survey in Hoogwoud near Alkmaar in North Holland.

“Ornaments are a discovery of international significance,” said RMO Curator Annemarieke Willemsen. NRC “They show that the people of North Holland had the highest level of contact and were part of an international trade network with money.”

Ornaments such as crescent-shaped earrings made of 18-karat gold are carved, one of which depicts a male head surrounded by rays of light. is depicted in Sol Invictus, or the unconquered sun,” said Willemsen. She said it was probably not made for piercing but was worn with her headdress.

A comparison of German jewelery and styles shows adornments from 1000 to 1050. Dutch objects are special because they combine Byzantine elements such as the crescent with the filigree used in Germany. Sculpture is typical of the north. According to Willemsen, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.


The coins have been found to date from the 13th century, and historians don’t know what the connection between them is.

The coins and gold were found within a 5-by-5-meter range, so they were probably buried together and the ornaments were heirlooms,” said Michiel Bartels., The head of the West Frisian Archaeological Department said:

Although the region is usually described by historians as an “uncivilized, egalitarian peasant republic”, previously unearthed sarcophagi and Viking rings already indicate an elite presence. “Somebody must have buried it to keep the treasure safe,” Bartels said.

The Hoogwoud Treasures will be on display until June 15th and will be on display again as part of a temporary exhibition from October 13th. 1000 AD.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/03/medieval-treasure-shows-west-frisians-had-international-network/ Medieval treasures showing West Frisians had an ‘international network’

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