Signet ring from the 1500’s found on the castle grounds

Wednesday, Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In the newly excavated foundation under Nyborg Castle’s original corner tower to the southeast, archaeologists have found a rare signet ring.

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In the newly excavated foundation under Nyborg Castle’s original corner tower to the southeast, archaeologists have found a rare signet ring.

Allan Knudsen’s well-trained archaeologists’ eyes spotted something during a guided tour of the dig at Nyborg Castle. It was a little object in the foundation of the so-called Dane Tower, in the southeast corner of the original fortress. It turns out to be a rare signet ring, probably lost during the construction of the tower almost 500 years ago.

Found during a guided tour

While Allan Knudsen from the Museums of Eastern Funen was in the midst of telling tour participants about the major archaeological excavation on the old castle grounds, a little thing caught his eye down in the newly uncovered foundation of the Dane Tower in the southeast corner of the site.

“I looked down and spotted something. It was stuck in the foundation, but when I got it loose, I could see that it was a ring. A really fine ring, that people used to imprint their signature on documents and such,” said Allan Knudsen. He is one of the archaeologists working on the excavation of the castle grounds.

We know when it was lost

The ring is interesting as an object, and after the conservators have cleaned it in the proper way, perhaps it will reveal some clues about its owner. But it is the find site, the place where the ring was found, that is crucial for understanding this special, personal greeting from the past.

“The find context is what makes the ring so special, and what makes me the most pleased about the find. We can tie it in with the construction of the tower, which we know went on in the middle of the 1500’s. In this way, we have a rather precise dating for when it was lost. This means that we may be so lucky as to discover the owner of the ring. That would be really exciting,” explained Allan Knudsen.

Now the marks must be interpreted

It’s still too early to interpret the marks engraved on the ring, but they will show much more clearly after the conservators complete their cleaning process. The ring was found during one of The Museums of Eastern Funen’s guided tours of the excavation.