Friday 11 January 2013

Staffordshire Hoard grows as 81 further pieces declared treasure trove

Some of the pieces of gold and silver which have been declared part of the Staffordshire Hoard. Photograph: Staffordshire County Council/PA
Anglo-Saxon gold and silver found in a field in the West Midlands has been declared treasure trove and part of the Staffordshire Hoard.

The 81 items, which date to the seventh century, will be handed to the British Museum's valuation committee to assess their worth, South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh told an inquest in Stafford on Friday. It will then be up to Staffordshire county council and neighbouring councils to raise the money to buy the new items for the nation. The original hoard, with 3,900 items, was bought for £3.3m after being found in a field near Lichfield in 2009 by metal detectorist Terry Herbert. He split the money with Fred Johnson, the farmer who owned the land. Though a team from Archaeology Warwickshire discovered the second haul last year, proceeds from the sale will once again go to Herbert and Johnson. The most interesting finds included an eagle mount, whose use is not known, and a cheek piece from a helmet.

Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire council, said it and the owners of the original hoard, Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham councils, would now have to look at raising money to buy the new items.

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