Anglo-Saxon Treasure Hoard Uncovered in U.K.

TreasureIt is being called the Staffordshire Hoard. In both quantity and quality the collection of gold and silver treasure found buried in the English countryside in July is unparalleled. There are more than 1,500 individual items in the Hoard, most of which are related to warfare—dagger hilts, pieces of scabbards, swords, and helmets. This unique find dates to the A.D. 600s, the Anglo-Saxon period before England was a unified country. Experts are uncertain precisely when or by whom it was hidden underground.

Also found were some animal figures, Christian crosses, and a strip of gold bearing a biblical inscription in Latin. All told, the treasure consists of 11 pounds of gold and 5.5 pounds of silver, with numerous inlaid precious gems. The treasure, now on display in the Birmingham Museum, is tentatively valued at $1.6 million, but will be priceless to archaeologists and historians for years to come. Most pieces display a supremely high level of metalworking craftsmanship.

The exact location of the discovery is being kept secret, but it was in the area of the Kingdom of Mercia in the seventh century. While the discovery of a single Anglo-Saxon sword fitting would normally be a notable event, the finding of so many together is without precedent in British archaeological history.

Terry Herbert, a metal detecting hobbyist, came across the Hoard on a private farm. Herbert and the owner of the land stand to receive a sizable reward.

Related Links

  • Experts Awed by Anglo-Saxon Treasure
    This New York Times article describes the most important treasure discovery in British archaeological history, found by an unemployed man using a metal detector; includes photos and video report.
    (Source: New York Times, September 24, 2009)
  • The Staffordshire Hoard
    This Web site is hosted by the archaeologists and museum curators studying the treasure; includes 644 images of the artifacts found; Q&As about the significance of the treasure.
    (Source: Portable Antiquities Scheme, British Museum; accessed September 25, 2009)
  • Hoard Shines Light on Dark Ages
    This BBC article raises basic questions that historians are asking related to the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard.
    (Source: BBC, September 24, 2009)
  • Ancient History: Anglo-Saxons
    This rich resource on the ancient history of England includes “Overview: Anglo-Saxons, 10 to 800” and an interactive time line of the English language.
    (Source: BBC; accessed September 30, 2009)

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    it is good for history homework

  2. anonymous says:

    Very helpful

    • John says:

      I saw a show once that someone thhugot they were given a million and believed they could not fail. When they acted that way, they became a success. What a powerful gift God has given us in our minds.

  3. Lorbeer Middle school says:

    very interesting and very good to know

  4. anonymous says:

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