anglo saxon hoard

An Old English word for library was “bōchord”, which literally means “book hoard”, and honestly I really think we should go back to saying that because not only does it sound really fucking cool, but it also sort of implies that librarians are dragons.

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Viking hoard artefacts, weapons, beads and gaming counters at the ‘Vikings: Rediscover The Legend’  exhibition at The Yorkshire Museum, York, 30.5.17. This is the largest exhibition of key Viking artefacts and items gathered in the UK to date.

Anglo-Saxon inscribed gold strip from the Staffordshire Hoard, 7th-8th century 

This gold strip carries the Latin inscription: “Rise up O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face.” It has two sources, the Book of Numbers or Psalm 67, taken from the Vulgate, the Bible used by the Saxons.

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever found. It was discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire on July 5, 2009. The items total over 3,500 in all and date from the time of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.

Leeds' Anglo Saxon gold hoard to go on display

A “significant” hoard of Anglo Saxon gold unearthed by a metal detector in a Leeds field is to go on show.

Seven objects including four rings, which date between the seventh to 11th Centuries, were discovered in separate searches in 2008 and 2009.

The exact location of where the gold was discovered was never disclosed.
Leeds Museums and Galleries said it was “excited” to reveal details of the location in a new exhibition at the City Museum, which opens on Tuesday.

One of the artefacts is a gold ring with a lozenge-shaped bezel set with a garnet gem.

It will be exhibited alongside three other gold rings, a gold brooch fragment, a gold ingot fragment and a lead spindle whorl, which was used to spin wool into yarn. Read more.

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Anglo-Saxon Filigree Seahorse from the Staffordshire Hoard, c. 7th-8th Century

Many of the pieces in the Staffordshire Hoard are decorated using filigree, a technique which creates patterns by soldering lengths of twisted wire to a base plate. This sea-horse mount is one of the most remarkable pieces in the hoard decorated using this technique. The filigree work on it is astonishingly fine –a grain of rice is longer than three of the spirals which make up the decoration.

There is some discussion as to whether this mount really represents a seahorse or not. Some experts argue that the Anglo-Saxons tended not to portray animals particularly realistically and that it is better to regard this mount a showing a stylised horse’s head. Others feel that the shape is so reminiscent of the species of seahorse that lives off the coast of Britain that the maker must really have intended to picture a seahorse.

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found. Discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England, on 5 July 2009, it consists of over 3,500 items that are nearly all martial in character and contains no objects specific to female uses.The artifacts have tentatively been dated to the 7th or 8th centuries, placing the origin of the items in the time of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.

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Anglo-Saxon Sword Pyramid from the Stafforshire Hoard, c. 7th-8th century

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found. It was discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire on 5 July 2009. The items, over 3,500 in all, date from the time of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, c. 7th-8th century.

The sword pyramid is one of a pair. These pyramids are hollow inside, with a bar across the opening rather like on a belt buckle. Pyramids like this have been found in a number of Anglo-Saxon graves, lying beside sword scabbards. The pyramids would have adorned a leather strap that would have been attached to a scabbard (which is a cover for a sword).  Straps like this are mentioned in the Viking sagas, where they are called ‘peace bands’. They could be tied around the handle of the sword, securing it in place in the scabbard so warriors were not able to draw their swords suddenly in anger.

The Staffordshire Hoard is remarkable for the extraordinary quantity of sword fittings. Most are of gold and many are beautifully inlaid with garnets. Such elaborate and expensive decoration would have marked out the weapon as the property of the highest echelons of nobility. The discovery of a single sword pyramid is a notable event - to find several pairs together is absolutely unprecedented.

Britain’s greatest treasure hoard reveals how goldsmiths fooled the Anglo-Saxon world

Scientists, examining Britain’s greatest Anglo-Saxon gold treasure collection, have discovered that it isn’t quite as golden as they thought.

Tests on the famous Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon treasure, a vast gold and silver hoard found by a metal detectorist five years ago, have now revealed that the 7th century Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths used sophisticated techniques to make 12-18 karat gold look like 21-23 karat material.

Scientific research, carried out over the past two years on behalf of Birmingham City and Stoke-on-Trent City councils, which jointly own the hoard, has revealed that the Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths had discovered an ingenious way of, metallurgically, dressing mutton up as a lamb. Read more.

Sutton Hoo 75th anniversary

On this day, in 1939, archaeologist Basil Brown investigated the largest of many Anglo-Saxon burial mounds on the property of Mrs Edith Pretty in Sutton Hoo. He made one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of all time – an undisturbed burial of an important early 7th-century East Anglian. 

The hoard is displayed in Room 41 of the British Museum, which has just reopened, fully renovated for the first time. Admission is free, so please go and submit a post about your visit. I’d be more than happy to post it.