365 great things about Staffordshire - Ten years ago today the world’s largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon treasure was discovered, right here in Staffordshire
On this day ten years ago, the world’s largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon treasure was discovered, right here in Staffordshire!
For centuries the largest ever haul of Anglo-Saxon treasures known in Britain lay untouched in a farmer’s field until the summer of 2009, when a metal detectorist quite literally struck gold.
From the chance discovery of a couple of pieces by metal detectorist Terry Herbert to the eventual removal of 4,000 items of gold, silver and garnets, what became known as the Staffordshire Hoard remains the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver found anywhere in the world.
Since approximately 700AD the treasures had lain untouched a few feet below the surface of a farmer’s field until the amazing discovery in the summer of 2009.
In a month-long excavation project, initially more than 3,500 pieces of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver were unearthed. The cache amounted to 5.094 kilos of gold, 1.442 kilos of silver and 3,500 cloisonné garnets and was valued at £3.285 million.
A decade later the story of the hoard lives on. Hundreds of small pieces have been painstakingly reassembled to recreate the objects they once made up, revealing even more about who owned it and how it ended up in a Staffordshire field.
In late 2012, the hoard field was ploughed again and a further 81 small items, including a second ‘cheek piece’ were found and the archaeologists are satisfied everything has been found.
Since its discovery ten years ago, the Staffordshire hoard has been a focus of world-wide interest including the Vatican when a replica of a cross found in the hoard was presented to the Pope as a gift.
The Staffordshire hoard collection is jointly owned by Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent City Councils on behalf of the nation and is cared for by Birmingham Museums Trust and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, where items of the hoard are on display.
Find out more on the Staffordshire hoard website.
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