During the late 19th century, a young Norwegian farmer, Johannes Hansen, arrived in the United States where—like many Scandinavians of the period—he had high hopes of starting a new life. However, an encounter with a fortune teller there made him change his plans. He learned that he need not suffer hardships in America to get rich because hidden on his farm back home was a great treasure.
This fateful encounter, described in a 1930 compilation of local history of Oseberg in southern Norway, may be nothing more than a yarn, but it reveals the intrigue and legends that surround one of the most exciting discoveries from the Viking age.
Hansen returned to Oseberg. He started to excavate a curious mound on his land but found nothing. He halted digging, speculating that the mound was just a burial site of Black Death victims from the 1349 epidemic. (This Mass Grave May Belong to 'Great Viking Army.')