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.

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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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