A hugely significant hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold has been found in a field in Staffordshire – so significant that it’s reduced archaologists to tears!
Amateur metal detector Terry Herbert made the initial find in a farmer friend’s field in July this year and it is already being heralded as “the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells” by Leslie Webster, former keeper at the British Museum‘s Department of Prehistory and Europe. There are over 1500 items, ranging from Christian crosses to coins to weapons and helmet decorations, hundreds still embedded in clumps of soil. In all, there is more than 5kg of gold, three times more than was found at the Sutton Hoo ship burial in 1939 – as well as 2.5kg of silver.
The collection is currently being kept in secure storage at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery but a selection of the items are to be displayed at the museum from tomorrow until 13th October 2009.
As for Herbert and the landowner, they could soon be enjoying a share of at least £1m – or possibly a lot more than that – depending on the valuation that is put on the find.