Monday, November 11, 2019

An Anglo-Saxon Hoard

From The Daily Mail:
A collection of Anglo-Saxon gold artefacts known as the Staffordshire hoard has been hailed as 'one of the greatest finds of British archaeology' by researchers. The 'war hoard' collection was discovered by metal detectorist Terry Herbert who was using a £2 metal detector he bought from a car boot sale to explore a field near Lichfield belonging to farmer Fred Johnson. Their find on July 5, 2009 was sold off to museums for £3.285million and the funds were split between them. The artefacts are from what is widely considered the 'holy war of the dark ages' in which Pagan leaders fought against rival Christian kingdoms. Since then, the ancient haul dating back to between AD600 and AD650 has become an international sensation. And scientists now believe the hoard belonged to one of the most most powerful Anglo-Saxon Kings of the time.  Penda was part of the Battle of Hatfield Chase where Northumbrian King Edwin was defeated.

Researchers, lead by Dr Chris Fern, have identified nearly 700 items, out of 4,6000 pieces, from a time where Anglo-Saxon kingdoms engaged in brutal battles. Dr Fern believes the items were taken from Northumbria and east England by Mercian armies from a kingdom in the centre of what is now England, The Guardian reports. The hoard, which was likely hastily buried but never recovered, includes what could be a 'battle shrine' containing a processional cross that suggests that Christian emblems were used as good-luck charms for battle. An inscription from the book of numbers, the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, is also included in the collection. It reads: 'Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee flee before thee,' The Times reports. (Read more.)

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