September 24, 2009

Biggest Anglo-Saxon treasure find since Sutton Hoo

Filed under: Britain, History — Tags: — Nicholas @ 07:22

Amateur “metal detectorist” Terry Herbert is the discoverer of an Anglo-Saxon treasure hoard in a field in Staffordshire:

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.”

A great exploit for Mr. Herbert, although the report makes what appear to be conflicting statements: “It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown”, but also “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”.

I hope that the latter part is true, because if it isn’t, it will only encourage future treasure finders to conceal their discoveries in hopes of selling it off on the black market, likely destroying the historical and archaeological value of the site in the process.

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