Largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure found in U.K.
An amateur treasure hunter prowling English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered, a massive collection of gold and silver crosses, sword decorations and other items, British archaeologists said Thursday.
Terry Herbert at Birmingham Museum, Birmingham, England, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, with a some of the 1,500 pieces which made up a Anglo-Saxon hoard found by Terry as he searched a field near his home with his metal detector. (AP / David Jones)
One expert said the treasure would revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the fifth century until the Norman conquest in 1066. Another said the find would rank among Britain's best-known historic treasures.
Undated photo made available Thursday Sept. 24, 2009, from Staffordshire Hoard, showing a hilt fitting, unearthed in the Anglo-Saxon hoard found by 55-year old Terry Herbert, from Burntwood, England, as he searched a field near his home with a metal detector. (AP Photo / Staffordshire Hoard website via PA)
"This is just a fantastic find completely out of the blue," Roger Bland, who managed the cache's excavation, told The Associated Press. "It will make us rethink the Dark Ages."
Leslie Webster, the former curator of Anglo-Saxon archeology at the British Museum, said the amount of gold uncovered -- about 11 pounds (5 kilograms) -- suggested that early medieval England was a far wealthier place than previously believed.
She also said the crosses and other religious artifacts mixed in with the mainly military items might shed new light on the relationship between Christianity and warfare among the Anglo-Saxons. Left: scabbard boss, one of the items unearthed as part of the Anglo-Saxon hoard.
The seventh-century hoard found by 55-year-old Terry Herbert in western England, consists of about 1,500 pieces of gold and silver, mostly weapons and other military artifacts, some inlaid with precious stones. Experts say the finely crafted pieces could have belonged to Anglo-Saxon royalty.
Herbert, from the town of Burntwood, found the gold on a friend's farm on July 5 and spent the next five days scouring the field for the rest of the hoard.
Herbert recovered the first items before professional archaelogists took over the excavation.
"Imagine you're at home and somebody keeps putting money through your letterbox, that was what it was like," Herbert said. "I was going to bed and in my sleep I was seeing gold items."
The hoard was officially declared treasure by a coroner, which means it will now be valued by a committee of experts and offered up for sale to a museum. Proceeds would be split 50-50 between Herbert and his farmer friend, who has not been identified. The find's exact location is being kept secret to deter looters.
Bland said he could not give a precise figure for the worth of the hoard, but he said the treasure hunter could be in line for a "seven-figure sum."
Herbert said the experience had been "more fun than winning the lottery," adding that one expert likened his discovery to finding Tutankhamen's tomb.
"I just flushed all over when he said that. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up," Herbert said.
The hoard is in storage at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Some of the items are due to go on display starting Friday.
"The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship is consummate," said archaeologist Kevin Leahy, who catalogued the find. "This was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good."
Leahy said there was still much to learn about the treasure, its purpose, and its origins.
"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," he said. "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."
Bland agreed, saying that archaeologists were still baffled by the function of many of the pieces they found.
"There's lots of mystery in it," he said.
Webster said the find was "absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells" -- a reference to famous manuscripts produced around the same time.
Article from: CTV.ca
Michael Cremo - Forbidden Archeology
Gary Biltcliffe - The Legacy of the Etruscans & The Mysterious Pelasgi
David Hatcher Childress - The Mystery of the Olmecs & Ancient Civilizations
Philip Coppens - The Canopus Revelation
David Flynn - The Giant's Geoglyphs of Tiahuanaco
Freddy Silva - Ancient Sacred Sites, Invisible Temples, Giants & Our Ancestors
Daniel Tatman - The Bath Mystery's: Geomancy, Lay Lines & Organic/Fractal Architecture
Cort Lindahl - Geomantic Information Systems
Daniel Tatman - The Bath Mystery's: Background
Daniel Tatman - The Bath Mystery's: Architecture
Daniel Tatman - The Bath Mystery's: Founders, Legends & History
Daniel Tatman - The Bath Mystery's: 1717, Architects, Druids & Freemasons
Michael Tsarion - Sorcery & Magic
Michael Tsarion - Irish Origins Part 1 - The West to East Movement of Civilization, Land Bridges & Age of Catastrophe
Michael Tsarion - Irish Origins Part 2 - Colonization & The "Celts"
Christopher Knowles - Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes
Ben Stewart - Esoteric Agenda
Ben Stewart - Empowerment & Solutions
David Hatcher Childress - Technology of the Gods & Ancient Atomic Warfare
William F Mann - The Knights Templar in the New World, Navigation, Meridians and Secret Knowledge
William F Mann - The Templar's Search for the One Bloodline, DNA, Sinclair, The Grail, & The Vikings
Jake Kotze Interviews
Scott Wolter - The Kensington Rune Stone
Alan Watt - The Templars, Vatican, South America and the Maya
The Staffordshire Hoard (photos)
Latest News from our Front Page
The Jewish Roots of Leonard Nimoy and What the ‘Live Long and Prosper’ Hand Symbol Really Means
Leonard Nimoy first saw what became the famous Vulcan salute, “live long and prosper,” as a child, long before “Star Trek” even existed. The placement of the hands comes from a childhood memory, of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue service in Boston.
The man who would play Spock saw the gesture as part of a blessing, and it never left him. “Something ...
Baby born still INSIDE his amniotic sac is hailed a ‘medical miracle’ by doctors [Video]
What an incredible miracle… Not only was the little boy three months early – he was born inside his amniotic sac. I’ve never heard of this happening before. If you look at the picture, you can see him clearly with his little arms and legs curled up. He was still being given oxygen by his mom until the sac was ...
California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated
Parents in California are distraught after losing their infant son after being vaccinated. He died in his sleep and was taken to the hospital already deceased. Hospital staff ruled his death as sudden infant death syndrome. The couple was told an autopsy was required to be performed on their son.
After returning home, waiting to get an update, they never received ...
DNA: Data-storage for eternity
How can we preserve our knowledge today for the next millennia? ETH researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, preserving it for nearly an eternity.
Scrolls thousands of years old provide us with a glimpse into long-forgotten cultures and the knowledge of our ancestors. In this digital era, in contrast, a large part of our ...
Hypercleanliness is making us sick - Children develop allergies and eczema
Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet.
The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, ...
|More News » |