Gold Ring from Middle Ages Found in East Iceland Skip to content

Gold Ring from Middle Ages Found in East Iceland

Archeologists discovered a gold ring in a grave in Skriduklaustur in east Iceland where there used to be a monastery. The discovery is considered significant because very few gold rings have been found in archeological excavations in Iceland.

“It looks like a normal wedding ring, but it has been decorated a little,” archeologist Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir, who is responsible for the current excavation project in Skriduklaustur, told Morgunbladid.

The ring is engraved with a leafy pattern and Kristjánsdóttir believes that indicates that the ring was made in the 16th or 17th century.

The monastery church in Skriduklaustur was used after Iceland converted to Lutheranism in 1550 and until the 18th century, so it is not clear whether the ring dates before or after the church began operating.

The ring was discovered in an unusually elaborate grave. The coffin was two-meters long even though the person resting there was much smaller. The lid of the coffin has an inscription, but so far, archeologists haven’t been able to decode it.

“I would believe that it had been a prior [a high-ranking monk] if the grave is from monastery time,” Kristjánsdóttir said, adding that if the coffin is younger the owner of the ring is probably a sheriff.

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