Viking Hoard

A year or so ago I listened to a fascinating Costing the Earth podcast about the contribution and/or potential threats to the landscape from those who seek treasure.

I’ve no immediate desire to do that sort of thing myself (wouldn’t have the time anyway), but it was really interesting to listen to the rivalries between archeologists, those who go out metal detecting, and the farmers whose chemicals were alleged to be eroding away the nation’s archeological heritage. For those of you who are interested in such matters, recently the British Museum posted about a recent Viking treasure hoard, which looks stunning.

When the finder’s photographs were sent through to us, we knew this new hoard from Silverdale in Lancashire, was going to be one of the major enterprises of the year for us and our colleagues. Silver arm-rings, brooch fragments, ingots and coins had all (bar one coin) been found in, or underneath, a lead container.

Check out the rest. The picture of the Silverdale Hoard certainly looks impressive – I can’t even imagine what it’s like to dig up something like that. (However, if that inspires you to go out metal-detecting, we’ll go 80:20 on the spoils, right?)

Pin It
  • http://twitter.com/DDSyrdal D. D. Syrdal

    Oo la la, c’est magnifique! Does the finder get to keep any of it, or does the state take control of these things?

  • http://markcnewton.com Mark Newton

    I believe people are legally required to report the treasure to the government – purely as part of record – but then wait for it to be declared treasure. When it is, I think people can do what they like with it, but there might be some issues to do with who owned the land, who did the detecting, and so on…

    Happy to be corrected by anyone who knows better!

  • http://twitter.com/SlightFoxing Rachel Parker

    Completely off-topic, but Silverdale is a beautiful piece of coastline. I used to go walking there when I was at university in Lancaster. I’m not sure everyone would agree with me that it’s beautiful – it’s a little stark and sombre – but I think that works so well with the view over the water towards Cumbria. And now I’m just loving the idea of the people who buried the coins there … it’s a place for stories :)

  • http://markcnewton.com Mark Newton

    I like to think that older cultures knew a thing or two about finding a good location. 

    Just look at where most remains of abbeys are situated – I mean, of course there are matters such as rivers, land and climate all involved, but given these people could choose just about anywhere to set up camp, they didn’t half choose some spectacular sites!

  • http://jonathandanz.com Jonathan

    It’s funny how those rivals are all convinced that each other is messing everything up. But they’re all doing it for the same reason (despite what they might say): Everyone thinks digging up stuff from another time is pretty effing cool.

  • http://weirdmage.blogspot.com Weirdmage

    Wasn’t sure about the rules either, so I Googled it: http://finds.org.uk/documents/treasurefinders.pdf

  • http://markcnewton.com Mark Newton

    All seems reasonably fair, does’t it?