Tuesday 30 March 2010

Staffordshire Hoard’s history closer to being unravelled

Hoard’s history closer to being unravelled

Sunday 28th March 2010, 11:10AM BST.

Hoard’s history closer to being unravelled

Archaeologists are one step closer to piecing together the history of the Staffordshire Hoard.

Teams have been carrying out further digs at the site where the £3.3 million treasure trove was discovered for the past week.

They hope the work, in a field on the Burntwood-Brownhills border, will help explain why the Anglo Saxon gold was left there.

Staffordshire county archaeologist Steve Dean has been leading the team, which will conclude its work over the next few days.He said he was now reasonably certain the hoard was a one-off, rather than evidence of an ancient settlement.

“We wanted to find if there was anything here that was associated with the hoard,” he told the Express & Star.

“It was very much in the topsoil and we had to get the material out of the ground as quickly as possible, so there was nothing conclusive we could draw from that.

“But we are now reasonably certain that the hoard is a hoard.

“If it’s associated with other features, we couldn’t seem to find them.

“We’ve now got to step back and look at the landscape and we will be looking to find a reason why the hoard is here.”

The work has also uncovered other artefacts – though nothing to match the scale of the 1,500 pieces uncovered by metal detecting enthusiast Terry Herbert last July.

“We’ve got some features that seem to be throwing up medieval pottery,” Mr Dean explained.

“And we’ve uncovered one item of potential significance, which has been sent off for analysis.

“It is possibly silver, but doesn’t seem to be associated with the hoard.

“What we were saying originally seems to have panned out – there was no gold found.”

It was announced on Tuesday that the hoard would be staying in the West Midlands, after the £3.3m purchase price was raised.

But more funds are needed to help with the interpretation of the finds.

Mr Dean said: “We have achieved all the objectives we set and this work will all feed into the interpretation of the hoard.

“The message is: we’re getting there.”

Source: Express & Star

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