COPENHAGEN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- A Viking era treasure of silver coins, which was buried around the year 854, has been discovered on Denmark's Bornholm island, in the Baltic sea, the island's museum said Thursday.
The 152 Arab and Persian coins were forged in different parts of the Middle East, and represent the single-biggest collection of Arab coins dating from the 8th century, to be found in Denmark, the Bornholm Museum said.
The first coins in the treasure were found by an amateur archaeologist in September, with the museum conducting excavations afterwards, the museum said to local media.
The museum said it is unusual to find such early Arab coins in Scandinavia, adding it will now put the treasure on display.
Archaeologists here said the treasure was hidden in a house in an early Viking-era settlement, and reflect a tendency at the time to safeguard such treasures by burying them under the floors of houses.
Only some 20 coins are intact, while most of the rest are cut into pieces, because the Vikings used them as a unit of payment based on the weight of the silver. Most of the coins are very thin and worn out, and weigh three grams each on average.
Although the total weight of the treasure is just 250 grams, that would have represented a fortune in Viking times, the museum said.
The coins probably arrived in Bornholm as a consequence of the Vikings' trade with Eastern Europe, and reveal the island's former importance in the Baltic trade system, it added.
The Vikings were Nordic warriors, merchants, raiders and explorers who roamed and settled in various parts of Europe and the North Atlantic between the 8th and 11th centuries.