A 1,000-year-old Christian cross was discovered in Denmark this week, a find that suggests the country’s Christian history may be richer than previously thought.
The ancient artifact was found Friday by an amateur treasure hunter named Dennis Fabricius Holm.
"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," Holm told Christian Today.
The cross, made of finely woven gold threads and tiny fillagree pellets, weighs 0.47 ounces and is 1.61 inches long.
Curator and archaelogist at Ostfyns Museum, Malene Refshauge Beck, called the piece "an absolutely sensational discovery that is from the first half of the 900s."
Holm’s discovery predates two runestones dating back to 965 A.D. that were previously discovered in Denmark. These were formerly the earliest evidence of Christian influence in the country.
“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.
According to Christian Today, Christian missionaries had been present in the country for two centuries before the estimated date that the runestones were made, attempting to convert the Vikings. It is believed, however, that by 1050 A.D. most Danes were Christian.
"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,” Beck said.
(H/T: Christian Today)