During the excavations in the south of Sweden on the island of Ellenholm, archaeologists found a Venetian golden ducat of the 15th century, the site of the Blekinge museum and The History Blog reported . He was minted during the reign of the Doge Andrea Dandolo (1343-1354), known for having rebuilt and expanded St. Mark’s Cathedral. According to archaeologists who found it, this is the first medieval Venetian coin found in Sweden.
In the Middle Ages, the island of Ellenholm on the Merrumsan River was under the rule of Denmark and belonged to the rich Lund episcopate. It was built archbishop’s castle, Sjöborg, and around it a city and a port are based. The castle was first mentioned in historical sources in 1424, however, judging by archaeological finds, it was founded almost 100 years earlier. When there were residential buildings around it, it is not known, but the town received the status and privileges of the city in 1450. Under the rule of Denmark, Ellenholm was before the Reformation, until 1536, when the Lund Archbishop was forced to leave Ellenholm and the city passed under the rule of Sweden. In the XVI century, it was captured and destroyed several times, and in 1600 the once prosperous city was abandoned.
Archaeological work in Ellenholme was first conducted in the 1920s, and the latest excavations began in 2016 and continue to this day. During the excavation, the researchers found the remains of the bridge across the moat around the castle, dating back to 1343, as well as the Flanders lead seal, probably made in the first half of the 14th century.
A new find was a golden Venetian ducat, minted in the middle of the XIV century, in the reign of the Doge Andrea Dandolo (1343-1354). The obverse of the coin depicted Jesus Christ, surrounded by mandorla – a vertical nimbus of almond-shaped form. On the reverse was minted the figure of St. Mark, who towered above the doge Dandolo.
“The medieval Venetian coin was first found in Sweden, and this finding shows that Ellenholm was an international trading port,” says the director of the Blekinge Museum, Marcus Sandekjer. “Of course, if you found an Italian coin in the residence of the archbishop, I’d like to think that there were some connections between the Pope and the Archbishop. But for now this is only a hypothesis. “
It is worth noting that in general, many medieval coins were found in Sweden, in particular, Anglo-Saxon pennies, money minted in Northern Germany, and even Arab silver dirhams and Carolingian money were found in the large trading town of Birka .
Recently, geneticists have found out that during the Viking Age the Scandinavians not only made trade voyages and military raids on European states, but many people from other regions came to Scandinavia. Thus, half of the inhabitants of the medieval Swedish city of Sigtuna in the south of the peninsula turned out to be migrants.