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An ‘Absolutely Stunning’ Roman Gold Ring Is Unearthed In England

An ‘Absolutely Stunning’ Roman Gold Ring Is Unearthed In England


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An amateur treasure hunter has made a ‘stunning’ find from the Roman era in the south-west of England. With the help of a metal detector, the man discovered a golden ring at a site being investigated by local archaeologists. The find is being hailed as very important and one of the most significant finds from the Roman-era in the area in recent years. This discovery has kindled a new excitement regarding the importance of the location where it was discovered and illustrates once again the significant role amateur archaeologists play in unearthing the past.

Romans in Britain

The Romans first invaded Britain in 55 BC but only really tried to conquer it in 43 AD during the reign of Emperor Claudius. They managed to subdue the local Celtic tribes by 80 AD and they transformed local society. Rome built cities and roads and Romanized large swathes of the population during their occupation. Britain from the mid-3 rd century onwards was frequently attacked by barbarian tribes, and in 410 AD the Roman Emperor withdrew the last of the Roman legions from the province that was, over time, occupied mainly by the Anglo-Saxons. The most well-known Roman settlements in the area near the find are Bath and Dorchester, although the ring has been found far from both of these centers.

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The ring is large and of solid gold with an onyx stone engraved with the god ‘Victory’. (Image: BBC Somerset )

The find in a field

The find was made by Jason Massey, a full-time pest-control officer. He is an enthusiastic detectorist, that is someone who looks for artifacts of archaeological significance using a metal detector. Mr. Massey is a British army veteran and was taking part in a charitable event, organized by the ‘ Detecting for Veterans Group’, reports the Daily Mail .

Massey and the other members of the group went searching for artifacts at a location in Crewkerne, to the south of Yeovil in the County of Somerset. This site is believed to be a ‘very high-status villa complex’ according to the Daily Mail and is being investigated by the Somerset Archaeology Team.

The group of metal detector enthusiasts was invited to help in the investigation of the site. In a single day the group of detectorists unearthed almost 60 coins dating from the Roman-era, at the location. The majority of them are bronze coins, which are often found by amateur archaeologists all over England.

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The ring was found by amateur metal detectorist, Jason Massey. (Image: Jason Massey)

During a search Mr. Massey came across what at first looked like a coin but in fact, according to the BBC ‘it turned out to be the 48g (1.7oz) ring’. The amateur treasure hunter had unearthed a signet ring, that holds a semi-precious stone that has an engraving of the Roman deity Victory. It is a large piece of jewelry and was almost certainly worn by a male. Because it was a ring made of gold it was probably worn by a Romano-Briton of high status.

The Somerset and Dorset liaison officer for finds has stated ‘ There are a couple of gold rings of that sort of date from Somerset, but they're not common," reported LiveScience. The amateur treasure hunter handed the ring over to the relevant authorities as required by law and it is now being examined by experts at the British Museum. The piece of jewelry has been provisionally dated to the 3 rd century AD.

At the moment there is some debate as to the value of the ring. The ring is unique in several ways, especially its carving of the god Victory on a chariot. According to the BBC, Mr. Massey believes that 'we have no idea how much [the ring] is worth – there is nothing like it in the UK'. The lucky dectorist is going to share half of the profits of the sale of the ring with the owner of the land after its value has been appraised by experts at the British Museum.

The importance of the signet ring

The significance of the ring, apart from its beauty as an object, is that it provides more evidence that the site in Somerset was a high-status villa. This means that there may be other significant finds in the area and that it could provide more insights into Romano-British society. The discovery of the ring also underlines the importance of dectorists in archaeology. In recent years, amateur treasure hunters have made a series of discoveries including a Roman tomb, in London in 2013.


Hadrian's Wall dig unearths 2,000-year-old toilet seat

Experts at Vindolanda believe it is the only find of its kind and dates from the 2nd Century.

The site, near Hexham, has previously revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army.

The seat was discovered in a muddy trench, which was previously filled with rubbish.

Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda, said: "We know a lot about Roman toilets from previous excavations at the site and from the wider Roman world, which have included many fabulous Roman latrines.


Rare Roman-era phallus carving found in UK

Archaeologists in the United Kingdom have unearthed a stone carving of a giant phallus, which might have served a good luck charm at the time it was chiseled 2,000 years ago.

The Roman-era millstone — a stone used for grinding grains, such as wheat — was broken when an excavation team initially discovered it and other millstones during fieldwork in 2017 and 2018, ahead of a construction project on the A14 road, according to Oxford Archaeology, a private archaeological company in the U.K. Only recently, once archaeologists studied the broken millstone, did they realize it sported phallic imagery.

"As one of only four known examples of Romano-British millstones decorated this way, the A14 millstone is a highly significant find," Ruth Shaffrey, a worked-stone specialist at Oxford Archaeology South, said in a statement. "It offers insights into the importance of the mill to the local community and to the protective properties bestowed upon the millstone and its produce (the flour) by the depiction of a phallus on its upper surface."

Archaeologists found more than 300 millstones and querns, or hand-size grain grinders, during the excavation. But this particular broken stone, found near Cambridge, caught their attention — it had two crosses engraved on it and an unusual carving on its upper face.

This stone appears to have been a phallic-decorated millstone that was broken, likely during use, and then was turned into a saddle quern, or a hand tool for stone-grinding. When the quern was constructed, the stone was flipped, which meant that the phallic carving was preserved.

Depictions of male genitalia are well known from the Roman era. For instance, in Pompeii and Israel, archaeologists have found Roman-era phallic amulets, and in Turkey, other teams have discovered Roman-era phallic jokes (depicted in a mosaic, no less) and phallic graffiti.

"This millstone is important as it adds to the evidence for such images in Roman Britain," Steve Sherlock, Highways England's archaeology lead for the A14 project, said in the statement. "The phallus was seen as an important image of strength and virility in the Roman world, with it being common practice for legionaries to wear a phallus amulet, which would give them good luck before battle."


Mysteries of Mercia

It is no longer politically correct to refer to the period as the dark ages – but Anglo-Saxon England remains a shadowy place, with contradictory and confusing sources and archaeology. Yet out of it came much that is familiar in modern Britain, including its laws, its parish boundaries, a language that came to dominate the world, as well as metalwork and manuscript illumination of dazzling intricacy and beauty.

Mercia was one of Britain's largest and most aggressive kingdoms, stretching from the Humber to London, its kings and chieftains mounting short but ferocious wars against all their neighbours, and against one another: primogeniture had to wait for the Normans, so it was rare for a king to reign unchallenged and die in his bed.

They were nominally Christian by the date of the Staffordshire hoard, but sources including the Venerable Bede suggest that their faith was based more on opportune alliances than fervour.

In south Staffordshire, at the heart of the kingdom, Tamworth was becoming the administrative capital and Lichfield the religious centre as the cult grew around the shrine of Saint Chad. There were few other towns, and most villages were still small settlements of a few dozen thatched buildings. Travel, if essential, would have been easier by boat: archaeology suggests that much of the Roman road network was decaying, and in many places scrub and forest was taking back land which had been farmed for centuries.

The metalwork in the hoards came from a world very remote from the lives of most people, in mud and wattle huts under thatched roofs, living by farming, hunting, fishing, almost self-sufficient with their own weavers, potters and leather workers, needing to produce only enough surplus to pay dues to the land owner. A failing harvest would have been a far greater disaster than a battle lost or the death of one king and the rise of another.

The world of their nobles is vividly evoked in poems like Beowulf, probably transcribed long after they became familiar as fireside recitations, of summer warfare and winter feasting in the beer hall, where generous gift giving was as important as wealth.

Rich and poor lived in the incomprehensible shadow of a vanished civilisation, the broken cement and stone teeth of Roman ruins studding the countryside, often regarded with dread and explained as the work of giants or sorcerers. One poem in Old English evokes the eerie ruins of a bathing place, possibly Bath itself: "death took all the brave men away, their places of war became deserted places, the city decayed."


He said: "I thought it can't be true. It was just sitting there as I scraped back the soil, shining, as if someone had just dropped it."

Archaeologists said the image of Nero dated it to AD 64-65 and added it would equate to more than half a year's salary for a serving soldier.

It was found in Vindolanda's 4th Century level and so would have been lost about 300 years after it was made.

Justin Blake, deputy director of excavations, said: "My first find at Vindolanda nearly 20 years ago was a coin.

"But because of their scarcity, I didn't think for a moment that I would ever see a gold coin unearthed at the site.


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The bust depicts emperor Marcus Aurelius - whose death is said to have marked the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire

'We think they were buried as a ritual deposit, as part of a Roman religious process and an offering to the gods.

'I know the finders and they are excited about the sale.'

The Aurelius bust would have been attached to the end of a sceptre – an ornate wand or staff – that probably belonged to a senior military commander about 1,900 years ago.

As well as the bust, the toy-like god of Mars on horseback and the decorative horse-shaped knife handle was a plumb-bob.

A plumb-bob is a pointed weight, usually suspended on a string, used to mark out what is exactly vertical.

It would have been used by the Romans in construction to make sure stone and marble slabs were vertically aligned – much like today's spirit levels.

Going clockwise from top right is the bust of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, the plumb-bob, the decorative horse-shaped knife handle and the god Mars on horseback

The plumb bob - a pointed weight which is suspended from string to show what is exactly vertical - that is part of the North Yorkshire hoard

It was initially thought the four objects – found over a 10-square-foot (one square metre) area in the Ryedale field – might be worth about £15,000 in total.

But Hansons has received worldwide interest due to their rarity and their remarkable condition.

The auction house will exhibit the collection before the sale in London on April 29 and in York on May 11. Anyone interested in viewing will have to contact them through phone or email.

Staples told MailOnline it will be publishing an official announcement in the next few days.

The artefacts have been authenticated by the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), which records finds made by metal detectorists.

The two finders of this hoard – Spark and Didlick – will have to split the proceeds of the sale with the anonymous landowner.

Spark, 40, from York, previously described the moment he and Didlick found the hoard.

'We were having a pretty slow day when, as we were just about to pack up, I came across a strong signal,' he said.

'The first item recovered was the horseman which I thought was Victorian at first. The second item then popped up and it was the bust – this was a game changer!

James Spark (left) and Mark Didlick uncovered the bust of emperor Marcus Aurelius, a statuette of the god of Mars on horseback and a horse-head knife handle last year

'We knew straight away that we had stumbled upon something very rare and unique.

'We ran the detector over the hole again and were shocked to find that we had another target in the hole and this turned out to be the plumb bob weight.

'Mark returned the following day and unearthed the fourth item which was the galloping horse that would have been a knife terminal.

'There are some known Roman link roads in the area so they may have some link to that.

'We are really pleased to find the items and add to the local history of the area and proud to find such an important historical artefact.'

The historical bust of Aurelius, which is the largest of the collection, is likely to stimulate the most interest.

Statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback at Capitoline Hill, Rome, Italy. Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire from AD 161 until his death in AD 180

The death of Aurelius is said to have marked the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire.

His son, Commodus, later ruled the Empire between 176 and 192, when he was assassinated by strangulation in his own bath.

Commodus was known for his interest in chariot racing and bloodsports and a preoccupation with his own appearance than being an efficient ruler.

THE INSANITY OF COMMODUS

Statue of the ancient Roman emperor Commodus as Hercules in the Capitoline Museum, Italy. The ruler of the empire was more interested in his blonde curls than doing a good job of ruling the empire

Commodus was Roman emperor from AD 177 to AD 192.

He was born in AD 161, the son of the popular and highly respected emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife Faustina the Younger.

Commodus became co-ruler with his father in AD 177, when he was only 15 years old.

During his final illness, his father, Marcus Aurelius became worried that his youthful and pleasure-seeking son might ignore public affairs and descend into debauchery once he became sole ruler.

He was right - soon after his father died in AD 180, Commodus discontinued his father’s war against the Germanic tribes on the Empire’s northern borders, instead coming to terms with them.

Commodus returned Rome to indulge in the pleasures of the great city, including chariot racing and bloodsports.

He is said to have insulted senators, given them positions below their dignity, given the rule of the provinces over to his favourites, and on a personal level to have engaged in scandalous behaviour.

He avoided the running of the empire on a day-to-day basis and instead delegated this to a string of favourites whom he made his chief ministers.

The emperor was concerned with pleasure and displaying his own physical prowess by fighting as a gladiator in the arena or against wild animals during lavish and expensive public games he organised.

He gave Rome a new name, Colonia Commodiana (Colony of Commodus), and imagined that he was the god Hercules, entering the arena to fight as a gladiator or to kill lions with bow and arrow.

His brutal misrule precipitated civil strife that ended 84 years of stability and prosperity within the empire.

On December 31, 192, his advisers had him strangled by Narcissus, a wrestler who was tasked with the deed by a small group of conspirators.


Englishman's metal detector finds record treasure trove

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A man using a metal detector in a rural English field has uncovered the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard ever found -- an "unprecedented" treasure that sheds new light on history, archaeologists said Thursday.

A gold strip with a Biblical inscription was among the 1,500 pieces unearthed in an English field.

The hoard includes 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of gold and 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of silver. That is more than three times the amount of gold found at Sutton Hoo, one of Britain's most important Anglo-Saxon sites, said the local council in Staffordshire where the latest haul was found.

It's an "incredible collection of material -- absolutely unprecedented," said Kevin Leahy, an archaeologist with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a voluntary group that records finds made by members of the public. "We've moved into new ground with this material."

Because the find is so large and important, experts haven't been able to say yet how much it is worth. They hope to make a valuation within 13 months, Staffordshire Council said. Watch report on discovered treasure »

The hoard was discovered in July by Englishman Terry Herbert, who was using a metal detector he bought more than a decade ago in a jumble sale for only a few pounds (dollars). He belongs to a local metal detecting club in Staffordshire and was just out enjoying his hobby when he made the find.

There was so much gold at the site that Herbert said he was soon seeing it in his sleep.

"Imagine you're at home and somebody just keeps putting money through your letterbox. That's what it was like," Herbert told Britain's Press Association. "As soon as I closed my eyes I saw gold patterns. I didn't think it was ever going to end."

Herbert found 500 items before he called in experts, who then found a further 800 articles in the soil. Officials aren't saying exactly where the gold was found, other than to say it was in Staffordshire, in north-central England.

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"Pieces were just literally sat at the top of the soil, at the grass," said Ian Wykes, of the county council. He said the hoard had been unearthed by recent plowing.

Most of the pieces appear to date from the 7th century, though experts can't agree on when the hoard first entered the ground, Staffordshire Council said.

The pieces are almost all war gear, Leahy said. There are very few dress fittings and no feminine dress fittings there are only two gold buckles, and they were probably used for harness armor, he said.

Sword hilt fittings and pieces of helmets, all elaborately decorated, are among the more remarkable finds.

"The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship is consummate," Leahy said. "This was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good. Tiny garnets were cut to shape and set in a mass of cells to give a rich, glowing effect it is stunning."

The items belonged to the elite -- aristocracy or royalty, he said, though it's not clear who the original or final owners were, why they buried it, or when.

"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.

More work will help determine how the hoard came to be buried in the field, Leahy said.

Many of the objects are inlaid with garnets, which Leahy called "stunning" and "as good as it gets." The filigree on the items is "incredible," he said.

Some are decorated in an Anglo-Saxon style consisting of strange animals intertwined with each other. That decoration appears on what is believed to be the cheek-piece of a helmet, decorated with a frieze of running, interlaced animals.

A strip of gold bearing a Biblical inscription in Latin is one of the most significant and controversial finds, Staffordshire Council said. One expert believes the lettering dates from the 7th or early 8th centuries, but another is sure it dates from the 8th or 9th centuries.

The inscription, misspelled in places, is probably from the Book of Numbers and reads: "Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua," or "Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed, and let them that hate thee, flee from before thy face."

Regardless of the exact date, the hoard is certainly from a period of great turmoil, when kingdoms with tribal loyalties battled each other in a state of perpetual warfare, experts say.

The land was also split along religious lines. Christianity was the principal religion, having gained ground at the expense of local pagan forms of worship, experts said.

At least two crosses are among the items in the hoard. The largest is intact, though it has been folded, possibly to make it fit into a small space prior to burial, Staffordshire Council said.

The folding may mean it was buried by pagans who had little respect for the Christian symbol, but it may have also been done by Christians who had taken it from someone else's shrine, experts said.

The hoard will likely help rewrite history, experts said.

"Earlier finds will be looked at in the context of what we find amongst this mass of material," Leahy said.

Said Leslie Webster, the former keeper of the Department of Prehistory and Europe at the British Museum, "This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England."

Excavation of the field where the hoard was found is now complete, and all items that were found are being held at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The most important objects will go on exhibit from Friday until October 13, after which they will go to the British Museum in London for valuation.

Once the items have been valued, Staffordshire Council said it hopes a selection of the pieces can go on temporary display at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.

Once the hoard is sold, the market value of the find will go to Herbert and the owner of the field where the hoard was discovered. The pair have agreed to split the amount.


Amateur Treasure Hunter Finds Trove of 1,000-Year-Old Viking Jewelry

Last December, retired police officer and metal detecting enthusiast Kath Giles made a stunning discovery while exploring a tract of private land on the Isle of Man: a trove of 1,000-year-old Viking jewelry.

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As Tobi Thomas reports for the Guardian, the cache includes a gold arm ring, a large silver brooch, a silver armband and a number of other artifacts dated to around 950 A.D.

“I knew I had found something very special when I moved the soil away from one of the terminals of the brooch, [and] then I found parts of the pin, the hoop and underneath, the gorgeous gold arm-ring,” says Giles in a statement.

After Giles unearthed the objects, she promptly contacted Manx National Heritage, an organization responsible for protecting and conserving historical artifacts on the island, which is a British dependency located off the northwest coast of England.

All archaeological discoveries made on the Isle of Man must be reported to Manx within two weeks, notes BBC News. If experts deem the artifacts treasure, Giles may receive a finder’s fee. (Current guidelines define treasure very narrowly, but as Caroline Davies writes in a separate Guardian article, the United Kingdom government is working to expand these parameters in order to better protect the country’s national heritage items.)

Some of the finds—including the gold-plaited arm ring, which is engraved with groups of three tiny dots—are particularly unique.

“Gold items were not very common during the Viking Age,” says Allison Fox, an archaeologist at Manx, in the statement. “Silver was by far the more common metal for trading and displaying wealth. It has been estimated that gold was worth ten times the value of silver and that this arm ring could have been the equivalent of 900 silver coins.”

Another highlight of the trove is a silver “thistle brooch of ball type,” according to the statement. It features a large hoop that measures about 8 inches in diameter and a 20-inch-long pin. The accessory’s owner would have used it to fasten thick garments while showcasing their wealth, as Ashley Cowie points out for Ancient Origins.

According to Historic U.K., Vikings initially came to the Isle of Man between 800 and 815 A.D. The island later became an important trading post, connecting Dublin, northwest England and the Scottish Western Isles.

“Kath’s hoard can be dated on stylistic and comparative grounds to about 950 A.D., a time when the Isle of Man was right in the middle of an important trading and economic zone,” says Fox in the statement. “The Viking and Norse influence remained strong on the island for a further 300 years, long after much of the rest of the British Isles.”

Most of the recently uncovered items were “high-status personal ornaments,” notes the statement. A member of the nobility likely hid the stash ahead of an invasion.

“The fact that all were found together, associated with one single deposition event, suggests that whoever buried them was extremely wealthy and probably felt immediately and acutely threatened,” says Fox in the statement.

Last week, the artifacts went on temporary view at the Manx Museum, where they’ll remain prior to valuation and conservation work.

“At the moment,” Fox tells the Guardian, “we know its historic and cultural value to the history of the Isle of Man, but its financial value will be assessed in the future.”


Pembrokeshire metal detectorists unearth hidden treasures

Pembrokeshire Prospectors Society members pride themselves on promoting the hobby of detecting, but also piquing people's interest in local history.

Members' finds make their home in national museums, and a former secretary is credited with one of the finest coin hoards ever recovered from Wales.

The now infamous Tregwynt treasure was discovered in 1996 when the then owners of Tregwynt Mansion, near Fishguard, were digging foundations for a tennis court.

They asked Roy Lewis if he would like to detect in the excavated soil.

"He didn't have much hope," explained the society's chairman, Jack Tree, "but within two or three steps he had found five hammered coins, all pre-civil war."

The late Mr Lewis found 500 coins over the next few weeks, dating back to Henry VIII.

"They don't know who buried it exactly, but, obviously, it was somebody who was either going to war or that they were frightened they were going to be attacked," Mr Tree said.

"There were no banks back then, you dug a great hole somewhere and hoped to be able to come back.

"It was a fantastic hoard and something that people can only dream about."

The society is credited with returning many an engagement and wedding ring to their owners, and receives several requests a month to go looking for lost jewellery.

But perhaps the most rewarding reunion was an American soldier's identity bracelet found by Mr Tree at Picton Castle, near Haverfordwest, which was a field camp for allied soldiers during World War Two.

The solid silver bracelet belonged to Robert Kneeskern. It had his force identity number on the front and "Love Shirley" on the back.

"I thought it would be nice to give it back to the family, but I couldn't get anywhere," said Mr Tree.

"I came to the conclusion that it was a war time romance and the family didn't want to know who Shirley was."

A picture of the bracelet was put on the internet and, about 10 years later, a family from Oregon got in touch to say they had Shirley's identity bracelet, which was identical to the one Mr Tree found, and it carried Robert's name.

"It turned out they were childhood sweethearts. He got based over here, lived through the war and returned to marry her and they lived happily ever after," Mr Tree said.

Mr Tree has been detecting for about 30 years, and said it is surprising how many anglers are detectors and vice versa.

"You just don't know what the bite is going to be," he said. "It could be a 20lb cod or a small flounder.

"It's the same with detecting, when you get a signal you could be digging up a ring pull from six months ago or a Bronze Age axe head."

Mr Tree said a lot of detecting is homework and "you have to put yourself back in the history of a place".

He said he would look for evidence of an old fair or horse trading site where money may have been lost.

"But it's surprising how many newcomers just go to a farm, and having done no research, stumble across things," he said.

Mr Tree said when a person takes up detecting they get a wish-list of things they would like to find. He crossed one item off when he found a 5,500-year-old Bronze Age axe head in Angle.

He also found a silver coin, known as a piece of eight, in the same area.


RARE HAROLD II COINS

"In the case of the Harold II coins, some will be from moneyers that we have not seen before.

"Harold II coins are rarer than William coins and could be worth between £2,000 to £4,000 each.

"The William I coins will be between £1,000 and £1,500.

"This hoard could be worth between £3m and £5m."

The expert added that while museums "have been buying up all of the hoards found, in this case the hoard may be too great for them.

"It maybe that an appeal for sponsors is launched to try and acquire them."

Mills said he believed the hoard had been buried in the ground within two or three years after 1066 and probably before 1072.

"The Romans buried their coins for the Gods but in this case they were probably hidden and the owner died before they could go back for them.

"It would have been a substantial amount of money back not. Not a king, but somebody high up and important, somebody of substance.

"They didn't have banks back then so where else were they going to store their money safely?"

Harold II coins are rarer than William coins and could be worth between £2,000 to £4,000 each.

Nigel Mills, coin expert

A spokesman for the Metal Detectives Group said: "When you find something like that you keep where you find it very quiet.

"If it is treasure it will be put out to tender to museums to acquire. A museum and treasure valuation committee will give the hoard a value.

"But you are talking a minimum of £500 per coin and with 2,500 coins that is a lot. But some will be rarer and more valuable than others."

A spokesman for the British Museum said: "We can confirm that a large hoard of late Anglo-Saxon and Norman coins was discovered in January and has been handed in to the British Museum as possible Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996).

"This appears to be an important discovery."

Although the find is smaller than the famous Staffordshire Hoard - the biggest collection of buried coins and artefacts discovered in Britain - it is thought to be at least £1m more valuable.

What was the Staffordshire Hoard?

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found, comprising over 4,000 items.

Archaeologists believe it was buried during the 7th Century (600-699AD), at a time when the region was part of the Kingdom of Mercia.

The hoard was jointly acquired by the Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council after it was discovered by a metal detectorist in 2009, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Most gold objects found from the Anglo-Saxon era are pieces of jewellery such as brooches or pendants.

However, the Staffordshire Hoard is unique in that it is almost entirely made up of war gear, especially sword fittings.

Over 1,000 pieces are from a single, ornate helmet.

It is the grandest example to have been found from the period and would have been fit for a king.

Although most of the hoard pieces were parts of weapons and armour, they are still highly decorative.

Many pieces feature elaborate designs made from filigree (twisted wire) and garnet inlays.

The quality of the hoard means it was probably associated with leading figures from Anglo-Saxon aristocracy or royalty.

But there's still a mystery over why the Staffordshire Hoard was buried.

Many of the pieces are bent or warped. It looks like they were forcefully pulled to strip them away from the objects they were attached to.

One theory is that the hoard is a collection of trophies from one or more battles, buried for safe-keeping or as an offering to pagan gods.

The discovery is still transforming experts’ knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon era.


Watch the video: Top 10 Incredible Finds on Antiques Roadshow (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Sargent

    I think you will allow the mistake. I can prove it. Write to me in PM, we will handle it.

  2. Bem

    Nothing so

  3. Haldane

    Likely yes

  4. Kagalkis

    Yes, it's decided.

  5. Frazier

    You are not an expert, by any chance?



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