Monday, March 19, 2012

The Staffordshire Treasures


There are people, who always hope to find a hidden treasure under ground or inside a wall of a ruin. Mr. Terry Herbert of Burntwood in Staffordshire, England is one such person. He however looks for hidden treasures with a metal detector. For this purpose, he uses a state of the art metal detector.
Terry was looking for hidden treasures under a farm, belonging to his friend. The exact location of this farm has not been disclosed, for obvious reasons. All of a sudden, the metal detector started buzzing. With a feeling of great anticipation and expectation, Terry and his friend started digging the ground on that very spot. They fond several wooden boxes, buried at that spot. They lifted the boxes out of the ground and opened them. They just could not believe their eyes with what was stacked in the boxes.

All the boxes, which Terry and his farmer friend had dug out from the farmland, were packed with gold and silver weapon fittings and warfare paraphernalia, including sword pommel caps and hilt plates inlaid with precious stones. The collection contained articles weighing about 5 kilograms of gold and about 2.5 kilograms of silver. In al,l there were 1500 items including a gold strip with a Biblical inscription.
Terry and his friend immediately called Mr. Duncan Slarke, liaison officer for Staffordshire. He says that he was wonderstruck with what he saw and could not even utter a word for some time. All the boxes contained articles, which were superlative examples of Anglo-Saxon workmanship. What really surprised him was the total absence of any article of feminine use such as dress fittings, brooches or pendants.


Work on cataloguing and valuing the treasures is now going on in the Birmingham Museum under expert guidance of Dr Kevin Leahy. He says that all the archaeologists who have worked with the treasures have been awestruck. He also felt that it has been actually quite scary, working on this material, which is of such great wealth.  The treasures appear to be from a period around 700 A.D.
It appears that after a war fought in that period, the victorious army must have removed all the weapon trappings and other articles from the defeated soldiers and their generals. They might not have been able to carry the war trophies or the loot with them at that time for some reason or other and must have buried it for safekeeping for the time. Due to some unknown reasons, they were never able to retrieve the trophies again, the treasures were hidden underground until Terry, and his friend found it. There is also another theory, that some person must have buried his lifetime collection of these articles for safekeeping. Birmingham museum would keep the exhibits open for viewing by general public until 13 October 2009.
Mr.Terry Herbert feels that some dead souls or spirits of yesteryear tell him, where to find gold coins. That day, instead of coins, they told him about gold.

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