Hiding The Object
Lukas came to find the chimpanzee had its back facing him. It had been digging for a while, and he could tell it had found what it had been after. He wanted to see what the chimp was holding, but when he walked around, the chimp made it clear that it didn’t want him to see and hid it.
The chimpanzee had grown obsessed with the object, and Lukas was growing concerned. He eventually glimpsed what the chimp had been hiding and immediately felt frightened. He worried that his life was in danger.
Not A Job For Everyone
Lukas knew that some people probably questioned his career choice, especially with his heritage. His father was a trusted doctor in their community, and his mother was a theater actress.
Despite his parents having jobs with high esteem, he wanted to pursue a career that he felt fit his desires and needs. Something most didn’t understand.
Lukas Karlsson lived in Kristiansand, Norway. It was a close-knit community where people knew each other well. Each family had a certain reputation to uphold, so when his parents heard what he wanted to do, they didn’t know what to say.
Lukas’ passion didn’t lie in theater or medicine. He had a fascination for exotic animals. Growing up, he’d only get to see animals from other continents on his TV until he visited the zoo.
The Kristiansand Zoo
After visiting the Kristiansand Zoo at a young age, Lukas developed a fascination with species of animals that he had never seen before. He decided then and there that he wanted to pursue a passion that would let him get closer to them.
And his dreams would come true when out of high school, he got a job at the very same zoo he’d visited as a child. But he had no idea how dangerous getting this close to these animals could be.
All Manner Of Exotic Animals
Lukas’ parents even managed to accept his career, even if other people wouldn’t. It wasn’t a glamorous job by any means. He worked behind the scenes at the zoo to ensure that visitors had the best experience.
He just loved being so close to the animals. On the one hand, he had to clean up after them, but on the other, he got to feed them by hand. If only he knew that’s what his downfall would be.
One Animal In Particular
There was one animal in particular that Lukas loved to visit more than any others. It was an exotic animal that he knew he’d never have a chance of seeing outside of Africa and Asia.
They really had nothing quite like it in Norway or most European countries. It was the chimpanzee.
Isak The Chimp
Lukas was in love with a chimpanzee named Isak. He had been brought into the zoo ten years before Lukas started working there. After Isak’s parents were tragically killed by poachers, the Kristiansand Zoo volunteered to take him in.
With most zoos in Africa already having many chimps, Isak would have been bullied by the others. Here in Norway, though, he was the only one of his kind. But Lukas would learn sooner or later that Isak had something dire to hide.
Lukas had been keeping an eye on Isak for a few months, feeding and bonding with him. But soon, his behavior changed strangely. He went from a happy-go-lucky chimp to one that seemed focused and driven on only one thing - digging.
It started small. He would uncover a bit of mud with his bare hands. Lukas wrote it off as him looking for worms or out of boredom. But if he had known the real reason, he would have tried to intervene.
Over the next few weeks, the digging turned into an obsession. Isak barely slept and barely ate. All he wanted to do was dig, and he had even upgraded his equipment. He had switched from using his hands to using whatever he could find.
His most recent discovery was that a stick worked a lot better than his hands. He had started to use that to dig deeper than he could have before. But Lukas wouldn’t be ready for the explanation.
A Dark Obsession
Isak’s eyes looked different. This was a dark obsession that was consuming him. Lukas wondered if he didn’t have some kind of illness that made him act so strange. He knew he had to intervene.
But by the time Lukas got permission to go into Isak’s enclosure to check what he was doing, the primate would have already dug up what he was looking for. And it would change Lukas’ life forever.
The chimpanzee’s back was turned to Lukas. It was clear to him that he had found whatever he was digging for. But as he walked around the chimp to see what was in his hands, the chimp quickly hid it away.
This object had become the chimpanzee’s dark obsession, but as soon as Lukas managed to sneak a glance at the artifact it held, he feared for his life.
All Lukas could tell at first was that it was sharp. He moved back a bit to give Isak some room. He didn’t want to end up on the wrong end of the sharp object that he had. But when Isak noticed the fear in his zookeeper’s eyes, he decided to show him.
Isak opened his palm and showed it to Lukas. Lukas couldn’t believe what he was looking at. It had to be of Viking origin and at least 1000 years old.
The object was, in fact, an arrowhead. Lukas could tell that it was very old. It must have been long buried and forgotten before the zoo even existed. He imagined how it must have belonged to a Viking from centuries ago.
The Viking would have probably looked a lot like Lukas since Norway is one of the original settlements for the ancient people. Lukas knew he had to show someone what Isak had found.
Lukas knew that his chimp friend wouldn’t give up the arrowhead easily. He had been obsessed with finding it over the last few months that he wouldn’t just give it to him. But then Lukas thought of an idea.
He negotiated with Lukas. After an hour of coaxing with the best food the zoo could offer, Isak finally traded the arrowhead for a yellow bunch of bananas and other assorted fruit. Now Lukas could have the arrowhead examined.
A Special Artifact
Lukas had the arrowhead examined by a man named Bjorn Pederson from the University of Agder. He was a professor of archaeology and managed to tell him a few things about the object.
It was quite a special artifact. He told Lukas that it dates to the Iron Age, around 2000 years ago. It was 4.6 inches long and would have been a prized arrowhead for a hunter at the time. But now, Lukas was faced with a dilemma.
What Should He Do?
What would he do with the ancient artifact? Would he donate it to a museum, or would he keep it to himself as a souvenir? Besides, there was another possibility.
What if he sold it to some wealthy collector? Surely, there would be someone somewhere who would value having such an item in his home. After all, there weren't so many Scandinavian Iron Age artifacts around. So Lukas made a decision.
He took the arrowhead to an appraiser. After knowing how much the item could be worth in the collectors market, he would be in a better position to choose what he would do with it.
So he asked Pederson about a reliable appraiser. The professor sent him to Mr. Eriksen, a renowned archaeologist who got into the appraising business after getting burnt out with the academic world. Nothing could have prepared Lukas for what he was about to hear.
After examining the arrowhead for a while, Mr. Eriksen hit Lukas with the news: the arrowhead could be worth about $200,000 in the collectors market.
Lukas almost fainted on the spot when he heard this. That was more than what he would make in four years at his current job at the zoo! He had never had that type of money in his bank account.
He Called His Parents, But…
Now that he knew the item's worth, deciding what to do with it was even harder than before. $200,000! Who could have guessed that a chimpanzee's curiosity would give him access to such a fortune?
The first thing Lukas did when he got home was call his parents. He told them about his discovery and what the appraiser told him. But he didn't expect their reaction.
Right after they heard the details, they quickly encouraged him to sell it. "Don't be stupid," his dad said. "Think of all the things you could do with that kind of money."
"You could invest it, you could start a business. A business related to animals, if you want. Do you really want to keep getting paid peanuts at that zoo for the rest of your life?" he insisted.
He Didn’t Know What To Do
Lukas didn't know what to say. He was happy at his job, but his dad's words made him think. Every now and then, his dad let slip his dissatisfaction with Lukas' career choice.
He would make a comment, or huff and puff every time Lukas mentioned a story about his job or his measly salary. When it happened, Lukas felt a bit ashamed, like he was an underachiever. Maybe it was time for him to step up.
Selling It For A Good Reason
After thinking about it for a while, he decided to sell the item. However, the use he had in mind for the $200,000 didn't have anything to do with investments or starting a company.
After all, he was happy working among animals. He didn't see himself as a CEO or someone who made his wealth out of stock investments, but he knew what he wanted to do with the money.
Becoming A Scholar
Lukas decided that he would use the money to fund his studies. He would study for a zoology bachelor's degree in Oslo and then apply for a Ph.D. at an American university specializing in primatology.
That way, he would manage to devote his life to the study of apes, all the while making his parents proud. The next day, he talked about it to his parents, who enthusiastically agreed with his decision. Now, all he had to do was sell the arrowhead.
The Story Of Monty
This is not the first time something like this has happened. Sometimes, animals can be archeologists' best friends, and they can help them find unique ancient items that would otherwise have remained undiscovered forever.
Recently, a dog named Monty, who was out for a walk in the Czech village of Kostelecké Horky, found something that put the little town upside down. This is how it happened:
Pavel Frankota, a shepherd and father of three who has lived in the village of Kostelecké Horky for his entire life, was taking a walk around the countryside with his dog Monty.
He liked to wander around those fields. He went there even when he wasn't taking his cattle with him. He loved the sights, the peace and quiet that couldn't be found anywhere else. Little did he know what he was about to encounter.
At one point during their walk, Monty started acting strange. He stood still for a few seconds. He raised his ears and started barking at the air.
What could be going on? Pavel had never seen Monty act like that. Usually, he was a very easygoing dog and always stood calm and collected. However, there was a good reason for this strange behavior.
What Was The Matter?
"What's going on, Monty?" Pavel asked. The dog kept barking, standing still like a statue. Then, he started running.
Pavel ran after him, yelling the dog's name and telling him to stop. But Morty kept running in circles, stopping every now and then to keep running afterward; it seemed like the dog had his mind and senses set on something.
Eventually, Monty stopped at a particular spot in the field and just started digging. Pavel stood at a close distance, puzzled, as he watched his dog obsessively scraping into the soil.
He kept going at it for almost 30 minutes, to the point where the hole he was digging was nearly 3-feet deep. But after a while, he found what he was looking for. When he saw it, Pavel couldn't contain a gasp.
Bronze Age Items
At first, Pavel didn't really know what was in front of him; but he knew it was ancient. After he called the nearest museum, they told him what Monty had found: 13 sickles, 2 spear points, 3 axes, and several bracelets from the Bronze Age, all dating back nearly 3000 years.
Shortly after, archaeologist Martina Beková, from the Museum and Gallery of Orlické Mountains in Rychnov, undertook an exhaustive examination of the items. Her conclusions were astounding.
"The fact that there are so many objects in one place is almost certainly tied to an act of honoration, most likely a sacrifice of some sort."
"What particularly surprised us was that the objects were whole, because the culture that lived here at the time normally just buried fragments, often melted as well. These objects are beautiful, but the fact that they are complete and in good condition is of much more value to us."