Friday 18 December 2009

How did King Harold die at the Battle of Hastings

A recent article is challenging the notion that the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson was killed by an arrow to the eye during the famous Battle of Hastings. The battle, fought in 1066, was a pivotal moment in England's history, ushering in an era of Norman rule.

In an article for The Historian, a publication by the Historical Association, Chris Dennis argues that Harold Godwinson was actually hacked to death by a group of knights that may have included William the Conqueror.

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Saturday 12 December 2009

The Market Rasen Sword

This doesn’t really count as news, but I have only just discovered this three-part video on the Market Rasen (East Lincolnshire) Sword.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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Wednesday 2 December 2009

New evidence found about the Battle of Fulford

The discovery of over a thousand pieces of iron, including arrowheads and axe heads, may provide valuable new details about the Battle of Fulford, which was fought between a Viking and Anglo-Saxon army in 1066.

The battle was won by the Norse forces led by the Norwegian king Harold Hardrada on September 20, 1066. Historians and archaeologists have now evidence that the Vikings spent the next few days setting up hearths to reprocess metal left over from the battle. Their efforts came to a sudden halt when the Vikings were decisively defeated by the English king Harold Godwinson five days later at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

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'Pillaging' Vikings unmasked as eco warriors

THEIR reputation for raping and pillaging may not have set them out as the ideal role-models for an environmentally-friendly way of life.

But it seems that lessons could perhaps be learnt from the Vikings after the intriguing discovery in Yorkshire of what is believed to be a metal recycling centre dating back to the 11th century.

Historians and metal detector enthusiasts have made the find which is being heralded as evidence of how the Norse invaders recycled their fearsome array of weapons.

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Friday 27 November 2009

'No tax cash' for treasure hoard

Birmingham council taxpayers will not have to pay to acquire a haul of 7th Century Anglo-Saxon treasure, according to plans by the city's authority.

The hoard, valued at £3.285m, was unearthed in Staffordshire.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent are both hoping to buy the treasure from the Crown.

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Thursday 26 November 2009

Anglo-Saxon gold is worth £3.285m

A haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure recently unearthed in Staffordshire has been valued at £3.285m.

The money will be split between metal detector enthusiast Terry Herbert, who found the hoard, and Fred Johnson, who owns the farm where it was discovered.

Mr Johnson said he had not made any plans for the money but did not think he would be leaving his farm.

The value of the 7th century hoard, the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found, was set by a committee of experts.

Read the rest of this article...

The Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found, has been valued at £3.3 million by the Treasure Valuation Committee in a summit at the British Museum in London, where a selection of items from the find have gone on display.

Terry Herbert’s raft of sword fittings, helmets, religious jewellery and gold, dated to the late 600s or early 700s. The metal detectorist found them in fields in South Staffordshire and will net an equal split of the total with landowner Fred Johnson in a deal struck between the pair.

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Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon treasure hoard valued at £3.3m

The largest and arguably most beautiful hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in Britain has been valued at nearly £3.3m by a panel of experts, a reward that will be shared between the amateur metal detectorist who found it and the Staffordshire farmer in whose pasture it lay hidden for 1,300 years.

Professor Norman Palmer, chair of the treasure valuation committee, whose members pored over 1,800 gold, silver and jewelled objects in a day-long session at the British Museum, said: "It was breathtaking – we all agreed that it was not only a challenge but a privilege to be dealing with material of such quantity, quality and beauty. It was hard to stop our imaginations running away with us."

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Tuesday 24 November 2009

Bid to map out 7th-century abbey

Ancient ruins in Lincolnshire are to be uncovered as part of a plan to map out the history of a former abbey.

A team of archaeologists are currently at Bardney Abbey where they are carrying out trial excavations on the site, which dates back to 7th century.

Work on the Benedictine abbey, near the banks of the River Witham, is being carried out on behalf of The Jews' Court Trust. The aim is to find out if the ruins can be safely restored and displayed.

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Wednesday 18 November 2009

Anglo-Saxon treasure found in Norfolk

A silver-gilded knob dating back to the late 6th or early 7th century has been declared as treasure at a Norwich inquest.

The knob has a cast animal head on it and was found by metal detector Vincent Butler on land belonging to the Diocese of Norwich in Fransham, between Swaffham and Dereham, on October 1, 2007, but the inquest was delayed for two years for various reasons.

Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong said at yesterday's Norwich inquest that the finder had permission to be detecting on the land.

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Friday 13 November 2009

Bid to bring Anglo Saxon gold hoard home

A CASH value could be placed on the Staffordshire Hoard by the end of this month giving Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery its first clear indication of how much it needs to raise to buy the treasure.

Archaeologists from the British Museum are currently casting their expert eyes over the 1,600 Anglo-Saxon gold pieces found buried in a field in near Burntwood earlier this summer.

It could be a tough job as the Staffordshire Hoard being the largest and most significant Anglo-Saxon find ever is completely unique and some would say priceless. The museum’s Treasure Valuation Committee is expected to meet before the end of the month to put its first cash figure on the largest ever Anglo-Saxon find and offer it to the Secretary of State for Media, Sport and Culture.

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Wednesday 11 November 2009

One step closer to bringing our treasure hoard back home

Hopes of bringing the Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure back to its home county and region have been given a boost after the British Museum said it would not try to buy it.

The news came at the launch of a temporary exhibition of the 1,662 pieces of gold and silver at the London museum.

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The British Museum confirmed they are not interested in acquiring the hoard and said that once the valuation is made, there is no suggestion that it will go anywhere other than Staffordshire and Birmingham.”

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Tuesday 10 November 2009

This treasure stirs the West Midlands' Anglo-Saxon soul

The Staffordshire hoard has brought history to life in modern-day Mercia – and it is here that the collection has to return

From the Lindisfarne gospels to the Lewis chessmen, much of British heritage policy is about putting things back where they belong. Now we have a golden opportunity not to commit the original sin, and ensure the most fascinating find in a generation remains where it should.

The Staffordshire hoard, that stunning collection of 1,500 Anglo-Saxon gold and silver goods discovered near Lichfield, has just gone on display at the British Museum with the earth still on it – the hoard's final outing before the treasure valuation committee sets a price to be split between the finder Terry Herbert and the field owner. But once those experts have announced whatever millions are needed, the loot must be fast-tracked out of Bloomsbury back to the kingdom of Mercia.

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Tuesday 3 November 2009

Anglo-Saxon treasures on display

A small selection of the most important Anglo-Saxon find since the discovery of the Sutton Hoo burial site has gone on display at the British Museum.

A total of 18 items, all taken from the Staffordshire Hoard, can be viewed by the public in London.

The hoard, made up of more than 1,500 objects, was first discovered in early July in a field in south Staffordshire by a man using a metal detector.

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Staffordshire treasure hoard goes on show at British Museum

Some of the most spectacular treasure finds made in Britain have gone on display at the British Museum, still caked with the clay of the Staffordshire field that hid them for 1,300 years.

Fred Johnson, the farmer on whose land near Lichfield more than 1,500 pieces of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver were found in July last year, paid his first visit to London to see the pieces safely installed in the museum, and had bought a new suit for the occasion.

"It's been an incredible experience. I'm overwhelmed by it all," he said, looking down on the jewel-studded gold that once ornamented swords, shields and helmets of princely quality. "They say this will change the history books; it's a strange thought that came from something lying in my field all this time. I'm trying to keep a level head about it. I'm trying not to think at all about the value of it."

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Monday 2 November 2009

City reveals 'Bronze Age site'

Archaeologists have unearthed what they say could be a prehistoric Bronze Age burial site in central Oxford.

Experts say important chiefs may have been laid to rest at the site of the former Radcliffe Infirmary.

Land around the River Thames, known as the River Isis as it passes through Oxford, was often used for prehistoric burial, ritual and social monuments.

The Museum of London Archaeology (Mola) also revealed evidence of a later 6th Century Saxon settlement.

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Tuesday 20 October 2009

Welcome to the AD 410 web site

2010 marks the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in AD 410 - one of the greatest turning points in our history. What was life on the island like at this critical moment? Was it fire and sword, with barbarian raids, peasant risings, tribal warfare?

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Monday 19 October 2009

Sutton Hoo welcomes monumental treasure into collection

After Birmingham Museum's breathtaking temporary display of the Staffordshire Hoard, the National Trust at Sutton Hoo have this week revealed their own treasure – a modern remake of the Royal Sceptre from the Sutton Hoo finds.

Suffolk stonemason and sculptor Brian Ansell was commissioned by the National Trust in February 2009 to carve a replica of the sceptre, which was found in 1939 among numerous treasures at the Royal Anglo-Saxon burial site.

The detailed replica will be added to the life-sized reconstruction of the burial chamber in the Exhibition Hall and used as part of a handling collection to help visitors learn more about the Anglo Saxon treasures discovered 70 years ago.

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Sunday 18 October 2009

Knot found in hoard jewels

Archaeologists have discovered a Staffordshire Knot symbol among the treasures of the Staffordshire Hoard, making the county sign 500 years older than previously thought.

The discovery comes as it emerged a National Lottery bid is being put together to keep the Hoard in the region.

Images of the knot were found on a gold artefact, not previously displayed, that was dug up from a field near Brownhills this summer.

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Thursday 15 October 2009

Boynton school children to view exciting archaeological finds at Caythorpe Gas Storage site

School children from Boynton Primary School in East Yorkshire are being given the opportunity to take a closer look at a number of interesting archaeological finds in their area.

Children from years five and six at the local village school have been invited to Centrica Storage Limited's Caythorpe site to learn more about an archaeological dig that has been taking place at the site over recent months.

Recognising early on in the planning of the new facility that it would come across certain archaeological finds, Centrica Storage made allowances in the project timetable to unearth and share any remains. Humber Field Archaeology has been involved in the dig and is currently excavating the site on Centrica Storage's behalf before construction work begins.

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Wednesday 7 October 2009

History Cookbook

Welcome to the history cookbook. Do you know what the Vikings ate for dinner? What a typical meal of a wealthy family in Roman Britain consisted of, or what food was like in a Victorian Workhouse? Why not drop into history cookbook and find out? This project looks at the food of the past and how this influenced the health of the people living in each time period. You can also try some of the recipes for yourself. We have a wide range of historical recipes from Brown Bread Ice Cream to Gruel (Why not see if you would be asking for more - just like Oliver Twist).

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Monday 5 October 2009

BA 109 covering Staffordshire Hoard

The Staffordshire Hoard is one of the most spectacular finds of recent years. It was found by a metal detecting enthusiast and reported to the proper authorities. The inquest has just been held which has officially declared it as ‘Treasure’. The Hoard has been compared to the Royal graves at Sutton Hoo.

Long before news of the hoard became public, editor Mike Pitts spoke to many of those involved with the find, and put together the complete story of how it was found – and kept secret. With pictures you’ll see nowhere else, this exclusive feature will be in British Archaeology issue 109, out 9 October. Read the CBA’s news story for more information and a diverse range of external links.

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Saturday 3 October 2009

Does brooch dug up in Oxfordshire field belong to 6th century Saxon princess?

A SAXON brooch and skull uncovered by a metal detecting enthusiast may point to a 1,500-year-old royal grave hidden beneath a farmer’s fields.

The Home Office has ordered the exhumation of an early sixth century skeleton found in West Hanney, near Wantage, on Sunday to allow archaeologists to investigate the size of the burial site.

The quality of the Saxon jewellery found pinned to the body has already been compared to treasure found at the Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk in 1939 (see panel), now on display at the British Museum.

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The Wantage Brooch

A short video by Gary Brun, showing the finding of the Wantage Saxon Brooch.

Watch the video...

Tuesday 29 September 2009

A new angle on the Saxons

Historians are only starting to realise the magnitude of the Staffordshire hoard discovery

The snaking line of more than 1,000 people queuing to enter the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Friday afternoon illustrated perfectly the surge of interest sparked by the announcement — just a day before — of the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered.

Among those queuing to see the artefacts was Allison Buckley, 47, from Stafford. “It is almost as exciting as queuing to see the treasures of Tutankhamun,” she said, recalling the rush to see the Egyptian boy king’s death mask in London in 1972. “What makes this so exciting is that it has just been unearthed. There is still soil on the pieces and you can imagine it in the ground.”

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Thursday 24 September 2009

The Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon Hoard

You can find links to the Staffordshire Hoard Press Pack and to three images at:

Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found

The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire.

Experts said the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date back to the 7th Century, was unparalleled in size.

It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown.

Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said it "was what metal detectorists dream of".

Read the rest of this article...

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure

The most significant hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found will be unveiled at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Thursday September 24th at 11.30pm.

A number of artefacts will be available to view with experts on hand to provide analysis.

The hoard has already been labelled 'as significant if not more so' than the world famous Sutton Hoo find (1939)

For more information, please visit or contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501 or by email

Birmingham City Council Press Office

Monday 21 September 2009

Kirkleatham Museum to display jewels from Cleveland grave of Anglo-Saxon princess

An "unparalleled" hoard of gold jewellery found next to the body of an Anglo-Saxon princess in a secret Teesside Royal burial field will be revealed to the public with a £275,000 Lottery-funded display.

The precious haul of fine pieces were placed in the grave on a decorated wooden bed in the second half of the seventh century, and are thought to have belonged to members of the Northumbrian royal family.

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Ancient skull unearthed on farm

A metal detecting club has unearthed a 7th Century skull and brooch on farmland in South Oxfordshire.

The Weekend Wanderers Metal Detectors Club were holding a rally on land near West Hanney.

Peter Welch from the club said: "The piece is garnet encrusted with what appears to be gold inlay. It must have belonged to somebody of high status"

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Hundreds of Saxon graves unearthed on new pub site

A perfectly preserved pair of glass drinking cups was found when the grave of an Anglo-Saxon warrior was unearthed during building work on a new pub, Yourswale reports.

The burial place was one of more than 200 uncovered at a site in Sittingbourne, known as The Meads.

Other findings included swords, spears, shields, decorative beads and other jewellery, as well as fragments of clothing.

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Tuesday 25 August 2009

Online Courses in Archaeology

Cave paintings, castles and pyramids, Neanderthals, Romans and Vikings - archaeology is about the excitement of discovery, finding out about our ancestors, exploring landscape through time, piecing together puzzles of the past from material remains.

Our courses enable you to experience all this through online archaeological resources based on primary evidence from excavations and artefacts and from complex scientific processes and current thinking. Together with guided reading, discussion and activities you can experience how archaeologists work today to increase our knowledge of people and societies from the past.

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Wednesday 19 August 2009

Anglo-Saxon Landscape and Economy: using portable antiquities to study Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age England

In the last fifteen years the role of metal-detected objects in archaeological research has greatly increased through reporting to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and the Early Medieval Corpus (EMC). There are now thousands more artefacts and coins known than a decade ago which, in conjunction with fieldwork, have the potential to revolutionise our understanding of the early medieval period. This is the first time that these data have been examined on a national scale. Such an approach enables the detailed analysis of the nature of portable antiquities data, the bias within such datasets and the relationship between patterns of recovery and historic settlement (Sections 2 and 3). In the light of these new interpretations of the overall datasets, the most artefact- and coin-rich sites, known as 'productive sites', can be analysed within a new framework of understanding (Section 4).

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Tuesday 18 August 2009

Amateur archaeologist Basil Brown to be honoured

HE made one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the United Kingdom unearthing priceless treasure which is now displayed in the British Museum.

Among the historical artefacts was the unique discovery of a seventh century ship believed by many to be the grave of an Anglo Saxon king.

But ironically the final resting place of Basil Brown, the man who made the incredible discoveries at Sutton Hoo in 1939, remains a mystery.

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Thursday 9 July 2009

Cambridge yields Anglo-Saxon remains

Archaeological excavations in the central offices of Cambridge University have revealed that the area was occupied by Anglo-Saxons.

The finds include Roman pottery, medieval remains and 11th Century dog bones, which indicate Cambridge was established in the final decades of the Saxon era.

"The site has enabled us to prove what we previously had no proof for - that by the time of the Norman Conquest there was a thriving settlement in the middle of Cambridge," BBC quoted Richard Newman of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit as saying.

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Wednesday 17 June 2009

Yorkshire treasure stash unearthed after 1,000 years

MORE than a thousand years ago a Saxon thief, desperate to hide his plunder, stashed a hoard of stolen gold in what is today a nondescript West Yorkshire field.

What became of the thief is lost to the ages and his precious loot lay safely buried in that same field for the next millennium.

There it remained until a treasure hunter, out with his trusty metal detector last year, experienced the moment he will never forget when he unearthed the amazing find on the farmland near Leeds.

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Ancient burial site found at Boscastle

AN ANCIENT burial site dating from the Dark Ages has been discovered at Boscastle during work to create a new waste water scheme for the area.

A pagan and Christian cemetery, including at least 18 graves, was unearthed during the setting up of a compound.

The discovery prompted South West Water (SWW) to call in experts to help understand the significance of the find.

Experts said the particular type of graves found were extremely rare.

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Sunday 14 June 2009

Students unearth Saxon nunnery

Archaeologists believe they could have found the first-ever excavated Saxon nunnery, on a dig in Gloucestershire.

The annual dig, by the University of Bristol, has unearthed remains of a Saxon building in the grounds of the Edward Jenner Museum, Berkeley.

The Berkeley Project to find Saxon Berkeley and the missing nunnery has been going for five years.

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Frühmittelalterliche Sonnenuhr aus dem Neusser Kloster St. Quirin

Eine Sonnenuhr des 9.-10. Jahrhunderts aus dem ehemaligen Kloster St. Quirin in Neuss konnte jetzt anhand von archäologischen Fragmenten rekonstruiert und nachgebaut werden. Bislang sind in Europa nur sehr wenige Uhren aus dieser Zeit bekannt geworden.

Die drei Kalksteinbruchstücke des Zeitmessers wurden in den 1960er Jahren bei Ausgrabungen auf dem ehemaligen Klosterareal entdeckt und ursprünglich für römische Spolien gehalten. Erst kürzlich konnten sie als Teile einer hochmittelalterlichen Sonnenuhr identifiziert werden. Die Ausgrabungen, die seinerzeit auf dem Gelände um das Kloster und spätere Stift St. Quirin durchgeführt wurden, werden derzeit in einem Forschungsprojekt des Institut für Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie und Provinzialrömische Archäologie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München am LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn ausgewertet.

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Wednesday 10 June 2009

Wearmouth-Jarrow Nomination For World Heritage Site

The twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow in northeast England will be the UK’s nomination for World Heritage Site status in 2010. The monastery, which functioned as ‘one monastery in two places’, is centred on St Peter’s Church in Wearmouth, Sunderland and St Paul’s Church in Jarrow.

Wearmouth-Jarrow was a major international centre of learning and culture in the 7th and 8th centuries. Its most famous inhabitant, the Venerable Bede, was the greatest scholar of his day and the impact of his writings is still felt in the 21st century. Original and rare 7th-century architectural and archaeological remains of the monastery survive at both Wearmouth and Jarrow.

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Saturday 6 June 2009

The Saxons were coming! A tiny sword stud found under a shop rewrites Welsh history

AT BARELY a centimetre across and almost unrecognisable after centuries underground, it may not look much, but could shed light on an almost unknown era of Welsh history.

The discovery of a sword stud beneath shops in Monmouth, made public for the first time in today’s Western Mail, could be evidence of an Anglo-Saxon period settlement.

But now there are concerns the site where it was found may be destroyed by development.

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Thursday 4 June 2009

The Viking and Anglo-Saxon Landscape and Economy (VASLE) Project

In the last fifteen years the role of metal-detected objects in the study of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian England has greatly increased through reporting to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and the Early Medieval Corpus (EMC). There are now thousands more artefacts and coins known than a decade ago which, in conjunction with fieldwork, have the potential to revolutionise our understanding of the early medieval period.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday 2 April 2009

Top Saxon experts visit the museum

NATIONAL experts on Anglo-Saxon England were in Whitby recently.

The Anglo-Saxon weekend was organised by Jo Heron, secretary of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Christiane Kroebel, and Chair Dr Gill Cookson.

Dr Cookson told the Gazette that the weekend had been a great success with people travelling from all over the country to attend.

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Thursday 26 March 2009

Worthing metal detector enthusiast finds rare penny worth £2,000

AFTER years of searching, the penny finally dropped for a Worthing metal detectorist when he found a coin worth £2,000.

Clive Nobbs discovered the 1200-year-old penny in the middle of a 20-acre ploughed field near Worthing.

"This is easily the most important thing I've ever found," said the amateur archaeologist and historian.

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Friday 20 March 2009

70th anniversary of Sutton Hoo's discovery

It was in 1939 an astonishing discovery was made at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk - the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king and his most treasured possessions.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of this amazing discovery and to celebrate the occasion The National Trust are holding a 1930s garden party, just as there was 70 years ago.

Mrs. Edith Pretty owned the estate at the time of discovery in 1939. She had brought in local archaeologist Basil Brown the year before to investigate the mounds located on the site, under the supervision of Guy Maynard, curator at Ipswich Museum.

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Saturday 14 March 2009

Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round takes over Ipswich's Gallery 3

Visitors entering Gallery 3 in Ipswich will soon find themselves transported back to an era of our country’s history dominated by warriors and kings. The Anglo-Saxon period was a time of transition, the dominant Pagan religion was being chased out by the literary monks of Christianity and people spoke the Germanic tongue of their recent ancestors from across the North Sea.

This new exhibition from Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service digs deep into what is a fascinating piece of our past, displaying rare items that have never been shown in the area before.

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Town's roots go back to the 8th Century

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have made an exciting discovery that proves people were in Wisbech in the 8th Century – much earlier than previously thought.

The discovery was made during a dig at Wisbech Library in the Crescent in the process of a massive £2.5 million refurbishment of the premises.

The library received £2 million Lottery funding, with Cambs County Council footing the remainder of the bill, to extend and remodel the ground and first floor.

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Tuesday 10 March 2009

Rare silver penny unearthed in Winchester

EXCITED archaeologists have unearthed a key piece of Hampshire’s heritage.

They have uncovered a rare silver penny that would have been currency during Alfred the Great’s reign as King of Wessex from 871 to 899.

It was found on the site of a former off-licence in Jewry Street, Winchester, which has been knocked down to make way for a restaurant and apartments.

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Monday 9 March 2009

North Yorkshire's heritage goes on line

FULL details of some of North Yorkshire’s finest historic monuments is being published on the internet for the first time.

The Historic Environment Record, owned and maintained by the county council, is a database of information about archaeology, historic buildings and landscapes.

Primarily used by the authority and others to help manage and protect them, it is also often of use to researchers and of interest to the public.

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Friday 27 February 2009

'Oldest English words' identified

Some of the oldest words in English have been identified, scientists say.

Reading University researchers claim "I", "we", "two" and "three" are among the most ancient, dating back tens of thousands of years.

Their computer model analyses the rate of change of words in English and the languages that share a common heritage.

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Tuesday 17 February 2009

Heritage at Risk from Nighthawking

New Survey Reveals Low Levels of Prosecution and Crime Reporting

A national survey commissioned by English Heritage and supported by its counterparts across the UK and Crown Dependencies has revealed that the threat to heritage posed by illegal metal detecting, or nighthawking, is high but arrest or prosecution remains at an all time low and penalties are woefully insufficient.

The Nighthawking Survey, published today (16th February 2009), found out that over a third of sites attacked by illegal metal detectorists between 1995 and 2008 are Scheduled Monuments and another 152 undesignated sites are also known to have been raided, but secrecy surrounding the crime means that it is significantly under-reported. Only 26 cases have resulted in formal legal action, with the punishment usually being a small fine from as little as £38. (Illegally parking a car carries a £120 fine.)

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Tuesday 10 February 2009

University's medical hi-tech technology used on rare artefact

A HI-TECH medical imaging technique is being used to help unlock the secrets of a priceless 1,000 year old artefact.

The Fadden More Psalter – an eighth century book of Psalms – is the latest archaeological find to be examined by scientists from Nottingham Trent University using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) which was originally developed as for medical imaging.

The technology has been put to work by the university team to develop a new field of imaging for art conservation and archaeology.

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Sunday 8 February 2009

Saxon Cemetary discovered near Lewes

Two men have spoken of "the find of a lifetime" when they uncovered a Saxon cemetery while metal detecting near Lewes.

Bob White and Cliff Smith, members of the Eastbourne District Metal Detecting Club, made the find on farmland outside the town last October and it is believed the remains laid undiscovered for up to 1,500 years.

As soon as they realised the importance of the site they sought advice from the police and local archaeologists who decided to excavate the graves immediately after seeking permission from the landowner.

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Wednesday 4 February 2009

Pair unearth Saxon burial remains

The remains of a 1,500-year-old Saxon burial ground have been uncovered by two Sussex metal detector enthusiasts.

Bob White and Cliff Smith unearthed brooches, a bronze bowl, a spear and a shield from the graves of a man and two women on farmland near Lewes.

Mr Smith, of Eastbourne District Metal Detecting Club, said he knew he had found something special when he noticed part of a bowl and a piece of skull.

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Saturday 31 January 2009

Oxford study aims to trace Cornish roots

A study which could prove that people in Cornwall and Devon can trace their roots to the Ancient Britons is being carried out in the two counties in February by Oxford University's genetic research team. This national genetics study 'People of the British Isles' aims to collect a total of 3,500 blood samples from people whose parents and grandparents were born in the same rural locality.

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Thursday 22 January 2009

Record archaelogical finds in Norfolk

Record amounts of archaeological finds are being uncovered in Norfolk - at a greater rate than anywhere else in the whole of Great Britain - because so many people with metal detectors are sweeping the county for signs of the past.

A record 110 treasure cases were seen and assessed by Norwich Castle last year and museum chiefs face a challenge to decide which objects they can afford to keep.

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Thursday 8 January 2009

Wearmouth Jarrow - Anglo-Saxon monastery

BUSINESS people and celebrities will be joining forces with church leaders this year in a final push to have a NorthEast monastery declared a World Heritage Site. The twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth Jarrow will be nominated by the Government for World Heritage Status next year. If successful, it will join Durham Cathedral and Hadrian's Wall in carrying the coveted title.

The Wearmouth-Jarrow ambassadors include influential people from the NorthEast such as Kate Adie and Steve Cram. They follow in the footsteps of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Duke of Gloucester and South Shields MP David Milliband.

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