Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon Treasure

The Staffordshire Hoard was discovered in July of 2009 by Terry Herbert who had asked for permission to search a farmer’s field with his metal detector. The field had only recently been ploughed and also other people had searched it only a little while ago but Mr Herbert was keen to give it a try.

The results were amazing!

Over a period of 5 days Mr Herbert recovered an enormous amount of gold and silver articles. He realised that there was too much for one person so he contacted the authorities and handed over his finds, and the responsibility that went with them, to the professionals.

A thorough exaction was carried out by Birmingham Archaeology with the approval of the land owner, Mr Fred Johnson. Over 3000 pieces were eventually recovered. The scale of the find and the variety of the pieces has captivated the imaginations of the public and the academics ever since.

It is not just the amount of precious metal and gemstones that is included in the treasure-trove, it is the high standard of the craftsmanship evident in many of the individual pieces. The period of Anglo-Saxon Britain was for so long presented to the public as the ‘Dark Ages’ where very little was known until England was once again civilised by the Norman Conquest. However, there has always been those who have fought against this representation, pointing to works like Beowulf that hint at a culture much richer than post Norman England tended to acknowledge. The Staffordshire Hoard repays their conviction.

Words cannot do the items justice, the old adage ‘a picture worth a thousand words’ is true so instead of me trying to describe this beauty you can visit the official website here and see this wonder for yourself.

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