Man stumbles across 2,500-year-old Bronze Age treasure trove in Swedish forest – in pictures

The discovery has been labelled one of 'the most spectacular and largest cache finds' from the Bronze Age

A 2,500-year-old treasure stash has been uncovered in a forest in Sweden.

The treasure, including  about 50 relics from the Nordic Bronze Age, was found outside the town of Alingsas in April by Swedish orienteering enthusiast Tomas Karlsson, who stumbled upon it lying in front of a huddle of rocks.

He had been working on updating a map when he came across the treasure, which he at first thought was junk.

"It looked like metal garbage. 'Is that a lamp lying here?', I thought at first," Karlsson told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Even when he examined the objects closer, he did not think they were ancient artefacts.

The stash included necklaces, ankle rings and other objects dating to about 750-500BC.

"It all looked so new. I thought they were fake,” he said.

The discovery has been hailed as one of "the most spectacular and largest cache finds" from the Bronze Age, Sweden's County Administrative Board said.

"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.

Johan Ling, a professor of Historical Studies at the University of Gothenburg and a specialist in Bronze Age archaeology, said most of the treasure is made up of bronze items that belonged to women of high status. The items were used to display wealth and social standing.

"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 said.

With Reporting by AFP