A 1,000-year-old Christian cross has been discovered in Denmark, proving that Christianity had a presence in the country earlier than previously thought.
Christian Today reports that the ancient cross was found by Dennis Fabricius Holm, an amateur treasure hunter.
"I got off early on Friday, so I took just a few hours, I went around with my metal detector and then I came suddenly on something," shared Holm.
The crucifix is made of finely constructed gold threads and tiny filigree pellets. It weighs 0.47 ounces and is 1.61 inches in length.
Malene Refshauge Beck, curator and archaeologist at Østfyns Museum, called the discovery “absolutely sensational,” and said that the cross dates back to the first half of the 900’s.
Two runestones were previously discovered in Denmark, dating back to 965 A.D. These were the earliest evidence of conversion to Christianity in the country before the recent discovery of the crucifix.
“The figure can therefore help to advance the time when one considers the Danes really were Christians, simply because one can say that the person who carried it here no doubt embraced the Christian faith," Beck said of the crucifix.
By 1050 A.D., when Christian missionaries had been in the country for two centuries attempting to convert the Vikings, it is thought that most Danes had converted to Christianity.
"In recent years there has been more and more signs that Christianity was widespread earlier than previously thought – and here is the clearest evidence so far,” added Beck.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: March 18, 2016