Staffordshire Hoard

hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork discovered in 2009

52°39′19″N 1°54′24″W / 52.65528°N 1.90667°W / 52.65528; -1.90667

A selection of highlight pieces from the Staffordshire Hoard, uncleaned by conservators, still showing traces of soil
Gold sword hilt fitted with cloisonné garnet inlay
Cheek piece from a helmet.

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork in Britain. It was discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, Lichfield, in Staffordshire on 5 July 2009. It consists of over 3,500 items.[1]

The objects are nearly all martial (military) in character, and there are no objects which are specifically female.[2][3] The artefacts are dated as 7th or 8th centuries, at the time of the Kingdom of Mercia.

The hoard has been described by Leslie Webster, former keeper of the department of prehistory at the British Museum, as "absolutely the metalwork equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells", and "this is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England as radically, if not more so, as the Sutton Hoo discoveries".[4]

Dr Roger Bland, Head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said: "It is a fantastically important discovery. It is assumed that the items were buried by their owners at a time of danger with the intention of later coming back and recovering them".[5]

The average quality of the workmanship is extremely high. The hoard was valued at £3.285 million, and has now been purchased by the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

References change

  1. Alexander, Caroline (November 2011). "Magical mystery treasure". National Geographic. 220 (5): 44. Archived from the original on 2016-12-25. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  2. "The Find". Staffordshire Hoard. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  3. Leahy & Bland 2009, p. 9
  4. "The Staffordshire Hoard: comments sent to us". Archived from the original on 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  5. "Anglo-Saxon gold: largest ever hoard officially declared treasure". London. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009.