bronze age treasure
© (Adam Ihse/TT News Agency via AFP)
A Swedish orienteering enthusiast working on a map earlier in April stumbled across a stash of some 50 Bronze Age relics dating back over 2,500 years, authorities said Thursday.

Mainly consisting of ancient jewelry, the find outside the small town of Alingsas in western Sweden represents one of "the most spectacular and largest cache finds" from the Bronze Age ever in the Nordic country, the County Administrative Board said in a statement.

Among the relics, believed to be from the period between 750 and 500 BCE, are some "very well preserved necklaces, chains and needles" made out of bronze.

bronze age treasure
© Adam Ihse/TT News Agency via AFP
Curator Madelene Skogbert shows off a bone ring.
The objects were lying out in the open in front of some boulders out in the forest.

"Presumably animals have dug them out of a crevice between the boulders, where you can assume that they had been lying before," the government agency said.

Tomas Karlsson, the cartographer who made the discovery when he was out updating a map, at first thought it was just junk.

bronze age treasure
© Mikael Agaton/CC BY-SA
Part of a necklace.
"It looked like metal garbage. Is that a lamp lying here, I thought at first," Karlsson told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

He told the paper he then hunched over and saw a spiral and a necklace.

"But it all looked so new. I thought they were fake," he continued.

bronze age treasure
© Mats Hellgren/CC BY-SA
A footring.
bronze age treasure
© Johanna Lega/CC BY-SA
Archaeologist Mats Hellgren documenting the find.
He reported the find to local authorities who sent out a team of archaeologists to examine the site.

"Most of the finds are made up of bronze items that can be associated with a women of high status from the Bronze Age," Johan Ling, professor of archaeology at the University of Gothenburg, said in the statement.

"They have been used to adorn different body parts, such as necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets, but there were also large needles and eyelets used to decorate and hold up different pieces of clothing, probably made of wool," Ling added.

Source: Agence France-Presse