The Quest for Viking King Bluetooth's Lost Grave

The Quest for Viking King Bluetooth's Lost Grave

Region: Wiejkowo (Wolin), Poland
Discovered by Josh Gates (Expedition Unknown) & OKM


OKM Expedition to Poland

In September 2022, the OKM team followed the clues of a treasure legend that Josh Gates, discoverer and TV host, and his team had already been following since 2021. With several professional detectors, the OKM experts have travelled to a Polish village near the Baltic Sea to explore selected locations in collaboration with the local archaeologist and a TV show producer.

As the pre-scans revealed prominent structures, there was nothing keeping the Expedition Unknown team from visiting the site. This is how it came about that OKM is also featured in the 11th season of the well-known Discovery Channel TV show Expedition Unknown.

Watch the Episode Trailer
YouTube Video
YouTube Video

Hollywood was Calling

For OKM, the story began in 2019 in Chwarszczany, Poland. The OKM expert team has joined excavations at the Templar Church and explored the site with 3D ground scanner OKM eXp 6000 and the ground penetrating radar OKM Gepard GPR 3D. In the following months, excavations have been initiated by local archaeologists, until finally in 2021 the US TV network Discovery Channel became involved in the project.

The team behind the show Expedition Unknown, hosted by explorer Josh Gates, came across OKM's blog post about the Templar Church and made contact with us. Further lively exchanges with the local archaeologists finally led to the sensational discovery of the graves in 2021.

During their visit and further research, the Expedition Unknown team discovered many more fascinating clues to numerous impressive sites in the area. One of those legends led the team to the Baltic Sea, this time again with the support of OKM and its professional detectors.

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Historical Background

The expedition followed the story of King Harald Bluetooth, the 10th century Viking king who is acknowledged as the founder of Denmark. Due to his conversion to Christianity, there is uncertainty in history as to whether he was buried in or around a church or in a burial mound, as was the Viking tradition of the time.

In the absence of reliable historical records (as the sagas are considered more mythical than factual), the team relied on archaeological findings and a legend of a Viking fortification known as Jomsborg, which is believed to be where Bluetooth met his demise. The existence of Jomsborg is debated by some as a mere legend while others claim it to be true. It is believed to be situated in the Wolin region.

OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown

OKM on Tour in Wolin, Poland

The quest for the Viking stronghold of Jomsborg and the lost tomb of Viking king Bluetooth has been initiated by a local archaeologist and the TV producer accompanied by the OKM team in summer 2022. The first explorations with OKM detectors took place at two selected sites: at a church and in the a forest near Wolin, Poland.

A Controversial Artifact as First Clue

A concave gold disc as part of a Viking Age hoard has originally been discovered in 1841 in the cellar crypt of a ruined church in the village of Wiejkowo near Wolin, Poland, and gained great attention again in 2014. The Curmsun Disc mentions the Viking king Harald Bluetooth and has initially been dated to the 10th to 12th century. However, its legitimacy is not and has not yet been globally recognized by archaeologists.

The Curmsun Disc - Obverse
The so-called Curmsun Disc with Latin inscription; translates: Harald Gormson king of Danes, Scania, Jomsborg, town (or bishopric) Aldinburg (Oldenburg in Holstein).
Source: Tomasz Sielski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Curmsun Disc - Reverse
Reverse of the Curmsun Disc.
Source: Tomasz Sielski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Scan with OKM Rover UC next to the church detecting buried foundtions.
OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Clearing the scan field of small metal items and scanning with OKM Gepard GPR 3D behind the church. The scan results show prominent signatures in greater depths that give reason for excavation.

The original discovery of the Curmsun Disc gives evidence to suggest that this church has been constructed on top of an older one. Thus, the OKM detectors and ground scanners were used to scan the church interior, the grounds surrounding the church, and the site of the former church chapel. What did the Expedition Unknown team expect to discover there? A hidden basement that could potentially reveal a crypt, or anomalies that indicate buried ruins or deposits.

OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Scan with OKM eXp 6000 behind the church.
OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Scan with OKM Gepard GPR 3D inside the church.
OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
OKM Gepard GPR 3D scan viewed in OKM Gepard GPR 3D App.

The scans with OKM Rover UC, OKM eXp 6000 and OKM Gepard GPR 3D have detected buried foundations next to the church and larger structures in the underground just behind the church. Enough reason to dig with big equipment!

YouTube Video

Expedition Unknown Season 11 Preview:
Josh embarks on a thrilling adventure to uncover the tomb of the legendary Viking king, Harald Bluetooth. Join him as he delves into the depths of history and unearths the secrets hidden within Harald Bluetooth's long-lost grave. Prepare to be amazed as Josh's relentless pursuit of knowledge unravels the mysteries surrounding this ancient ruler.

The Quest for the Legendary Viking Stronghold Jomsborg

The Viking stronghold Jomsborg at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea had existed between the 960s and 1043. Its exact location, or even existence, has not been proven yet. Jomsborg is often thought to be near a particular hill north of the modern town of Wolin in north-west Poland. In fact, latest satellite imagery suggests a grouping of potential burial mounds. These circle sites in the forest are expected to give further clues to find Bluetooth’s burial site and the legendary Viking fortress Jomsborg.

OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Scan with OKM Gepard GPR 3D near the suspected Viking fortress.
OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Initial analysis of the GPR scan via OKM GPR App.
OKM Search Projekt in Poland with Expedition Unknown
Scan with OKM Rover UC on the mounds in the forest.

Ground scans with the very flexible OKM Gepard GPR 3D and the compact OKM Rover UC have been performed around and on the mounds to find signatures of larger settlements, burial sites, or the very recognizable shape of a ring fortress. By scanning a wider perimeter, signatures of surrounding palisades, especially walls which break at each of the cardinal directions, can be detected.

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