Author Topic: The Staffordshire Hoard - Largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold  (Read 4997 times)

Offline Phantom_Major

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The Staffordshire Hoard - Largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold
« on: September 24, 2009, 12:25:06 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/8271241.stm

The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon gold artefacts has been found in Staffordshire.

The items, which date from the 6th to 8th centuries, were discovered beneath a field on a farm in July.

The haul is much larger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939 when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The Staffordshire coroner will decide later whether the hoard is to be classified as treasure.

If this happens it will become the property of the government.

It has been suggested that the hoard may be related to a Mercian king.

Experts from the British Museum have been studying the items which are being kept in Birmingham.

Officials have refused to reveal the exact location of the field or the name of the man who found the hoard.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 03:05:11 PM by Tascio »



Offline Phantom_Major

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Re: Largest Anglo-Saxon hoard found
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 11:10:27 AM »
Congratulations, Terry! I am green with envy! Some great images and video at the site.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/8272058.stm

The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire.

Experts said the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date back to the 7th Century, was unparalleled in size.

It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown.

Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said it "was what metal detectorists dream of".

It may take more than a year for it to be valued.

The collection contains about 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver, making it far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939 when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Leslie Webster, former keeper at the British Museum's Department of Prehistory and Europe, said: "This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England as radically, if not more so, as the Sutton Hoo discoveries.

"(It is) absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells."

The Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels are intricately illuminated manuscripts of the four New Testament Gospels dating from the 9th and 8th Centuries.

'Just unbelievable'

Mr Herbert, 55, of Burntwood in Staffordshire, who has been metal detecting for 18 years, came across the hoard as he searched land belonging to a farmer friend over five days in July. The exact location has not been disclosed.

"I have this phrase that I say sometimes; 'spirits of yesteryear take me where the coins appear', but on that day I changed coins to gold," he said.

"I don't know why I said it that day but I think somebody was listening and directed me to it.

Duncan Slarke, Portable Antiquities: ''It is a hugely important find''

"This is what metal detectorists dream of, finding stuff like this. But the vast amount there is is just unbelievable."

BBC correspondent Nick Higham said the hoard would be valued by the British Museum and the money passed on to Mr Herbert and the landowner.

Duncan Slarke, finds liaison officer for Staffordshire, was the first professional to see the hoard which contains warfare paraphernalia, including sword pommel caps and hilt plates inlaid with precious stones.

He said he was "virtually speechless" when he saw the items.

"Nothing could have prepared me for that," he said.

"I saw boxes full of gold, items exhibiting the very finest Anglo-Saxon workmanship.

"This is absolutely phenomenal.

"It is a hugely important find - the most important one that I have dealt with, but this has got to rank as one of the biggest in the country."

'Truly remarkable'

The collection is currently being kept in secure storage at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery but a selection of the items are to be displayed at the museum from Friday until 13 October.

A Treasure Valuation Committee made up of independent experts will then value the find.

Dr Kevin Leahy, who has been cataloguing the find for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said it was "a truly remarkable collection".

"All the archaeologists who've worked with it have been awestruck," he added.

"It's been actually quite scary working on this material to be in the presence of greatness."

He said the most striking feature of the find was that it was almost totally weapon fittings with no feminine objects such as dress fittings, brooches or pendants.

"Swords and sword fittings were very important in the Anglo-Saxon period," Dr Leahy added.

"The Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf describes after a battle a sword being stripped of its hilt fittings.

"It looks like a collection of trophies, but it is impossible to say if the hoard was the spoils from a single battle or a long and highly successful military career.

"We also cannot say who the original, or the final, owners were, who took it from them, why they buried it or when.

"It will be debated for decades."


Offline Phantom_Major

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Re: Largest Anglo-Saxon hoard found
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 12:36:33 PM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/8274279.stm

Hundreds of people have been queuing to see part of the UK's biggest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure in Birmingham.

About 1,300 mainly gold and silver items have been recovered after initial discoveries by treasure hunter Terry Herbert in Staffordshire.

Visitors to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery are able to see a selection of the items until 13 October.

So many people turned up on the first day, the opening was delayed while exhibits were moved to a larger space.

Visitor, John Welsh, a jeweller from Rednal, Birmingham, said the treasure was "so intricate".

"I expected it to be a lot cruder because it's so old, but not at all.

"They almost look as though they could be modern some of the filigree designs," he said.

IT consultant Jay Singh, from Handsworth, Birmingham, said he rushed to book the day off ahead of his colleagues when he heard the artefacts were going on public display.

He said: "I had to be one of the first people to see them in the flesh so to speak.

"They're just incredible, the craftsmanship that goes into them is mind blowing."

Treasure valuation

Mr Herbert, 55, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, discovered the hoard just below the surface of a cultivated field in the south of the county in July, using a metal detector.

The collection, which may date to the 7th Century, contains about 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver.

It was declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown.

After its public showing the hoard's worth will be assessed by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Mr Herbert and the landowner will share the value.

Roger Bland, head of portable antiquities and treasure at the British Museum, has said: "The most we can say is, I think we're fairly confident it is likely to be a seven-figure sum."

Once a market value has been ascertained, museums will be able to bid for the collection.

A joint acquisition between Staffordshire County Council, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery has already been proposed.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Ross Irving said "short of intervention by the government" he believed the hoard would come to the city.

He said: "It has to be valued first of all, so we can find out how much we need to raise to actually buy it.

"We're hoping we're going to do that in partnership with other authorities."

'Important discovery'

Rita McClean, from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, said: "There's a long way to go before there's a clear outcome as to how it's acquired and where it goes.

"The find liaison officer that was the first contact is based at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and so in a sense that's why the finds came to us."

The Staffordshire hoard is far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939 when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

The treasure - which includes a large number of sword pommels and hilt plates as well as a quantity of silver - has been hailed as "a fantastically important discovery" which will redefine perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England.

Offline Phantom_Major

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Re: Largest Anglo-Saxon hoard found
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 04:57:12 PM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/8278460.stm

A display of the UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has attracted 10,500 visitors in three days.

Some of the 1,300 gold and silver items went on show at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Friday.

The artefacts, which may date to the 7th Century, were discovered by Terry Herbert, 55, using a metal detector in a farmer's field in Staffordshire.

Birmingham City Council said it would try to raise the seven-figure sum to keep the hoard in the Midlands.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, the council's head of culture, said the British Museum had indicated its support for the collection staying in the region.

'Lengthy queues'

He said he hoped to work closely with Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to raise the money.

Experts have said the whole collection is worth "a seven-figure sum" but the hoard has not yet been officially valued.

The hoard is the largest Anglo-Saxon collection of gold found in the UK

The display will be at the museum until 13 October and will then be taken to the British Museum for valuation along with the rest of the items.

Mr Herbert, of Burntwood, Staffordshire, and the anonymous landowner will share the proceeds between them.

Mr Mullaney said: "Lengthy queues over the weekend and massive worldwide media coverage clearly indicate the huge amounts of interest in these artefacts and we believe these objects would significantly contribute to the ongoing development of our collections.

"To that end, I hope to shortly announce details of a fundraising campaign and in the meantime visitors to the exhibition can contribute using the collection boxes located around the museum.

"Museums these days have a good track record in terms of raising large sums of money to add to their collections, something that was clearly illustrated in the campaign to keep Titian's Diana and Actaeon for the nation."

The Staffordshire Hoard is far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939, when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

It has been hailed as a "fantastically important discovery" which will redefine perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England.

It includes a large number of sword pommels and hilt plates.

Offline Tascio

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Re: The Staffordshire Hoard - Largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2011, 03:10:25 PM »
New Staffordshire hoard web site! http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/