The Stafforshire Hoard
Experts in Great Britain are overwhelmed by both the magnitude and the quality of the objects, which include not only coins but beautifully-crafted works of art. There are 1,500 items, most of which are warfare-related (sword pommel caps, hilt plates) and jewelry, crosses, and decorative items designed to be worn by males rather than females. It appears to be a collection of trophies, perhaps from a battle or the accumulation of a military career.
The Staffordshire Hoard 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.”
Some of the gold pieces are inlaid with precious stones such as garnets. The hoard appears to date from the 7th century; at present there is no indication of who owned it or why it was buried in the Staffordshire field.
Link to BBC article and slideshow of 12 photos.
Link to a gallery of photos at The Guardian.