Metal detecting - it's the big one!
Huge find of Anglo-saxon treasure
A 55-year old metal detectorist has found a treasure trove of Anglo-Saxon artefacts buried just below the surface of a field in Staffordshire, UK.
Some of the best finds are now on display in the British Museum in London, in Room 37 which is above the South stairs. There are still traces of soil on some of them. There is no admission charge, as it is not a full-blown exhibition.
It's believed to be one of the most important finds of recent times in the UK, dwarfing even the legendary treasure of Sutton Hoo, which is on display at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge, Sufffolk, and also in the British Museum. In total, there are about 1,500 gold objects, which probably date from the Dark Ages, around the 7th century, and there are also many glass, silver and enamel pieces.
A lot of the gold objects discovered look very similar to the Sutton Hoo finds ( a ship burial) with their inlaid garnet work, fine enamelling and intricate interweaved patterns. This stuff is as interesting in terms of artistic value as it is historically, in my opinion. It is so beautiful in design that it makes modern work look pretty average.
At least 5kg of gold objects and a large amount of silver is in the hoard, which has been excavated by archaeologists after the initial finds.
On the BBC News website you'll find some excellent short videos, with details of this amazing discovery, which is likely to add to knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon era in British history. There is also a slideshow of the remarkable artefacts that have been found. From the human interest point of view, it's really nice that after 18 years of dedication, this metal detectorist has hit the big time - both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.
The treasure hoard has military aspects to it, and may have been the pension plan of an Anglo-Saxon warlord - though probably it will never be known for sure. What is fascinating is the possibility of other finds like this, which anyone could find given the persistence.
So, that is a compelling idea - the lost world right beneath our feet, endlessly ploughed over, but never found - until now.
Pictures of the New Finds
Link to BBC news story
- BBC NEWS | UK | Anglo-Saxon treasure found
The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon gold has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire.
Buying a metal detector
Some good advice is available at the garys detecting website, link is below. In a nutshell, Gary advises you to avoid all Chinese made (including re-branded) machines, and recommends spending at least £250-350 ($500) on a machine to avoid disappointing results.The Tesoro brand does well in his reviews.
It's important to select different models for different applications - whether you are looking for coins or more substantial relics and the terrain involved.