Friday, September 25, 2009

Mercian Gold: Penda? or Offa?

Nope that is not a misspelling of 'Merican' and those are real names of Kings of Mercia, the main rivals to the West Saxon Kings which gave us Alfred the Great. The following is just a stunning find, really the biggest since the discovery of the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, and in sheer quantity of gold vastly outshines even that.

Largest ever hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in Staffordshire
A harvest of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver so beautiful it brought tears to the eyes of one expert, has poured out of a Staffordshire field - the largest hoard of gold from the period ever found.

The weapons and helmet decorations, coins and Christian crosses amount to more than 1500 pieces, with hundreds still embedded in blocks of soil. It adds up to 5kg of gold – three times the amount found in the famous Sutton Hoo ship burial in 1939 – and 2.5kg of silver, and may be the swag from a spectacularly successful raiding party of warlike Mercians, some time around AD700.
A gallery can be seen here: Anglo-Saxon treasure hoard found in Staffordshire
Another from TPM here: Terry the Conqueror

Black and white map Mercian Supremacy, c.800 AD
Larger scale map of Southern England and Wales Southern England in the Ninth Century If you look along the border of Mercia to the west you will see the line of Offa's Dike, a massive earthwork defensive wall.

We don't know a lot about Mercia, What we do know is pretty well covered by a good article in Wiki. Mercia

Also from Wiki this from the Sutton Hoo ship burial showing a somewhat older but similar piece of Anglo-Saxon artwork. Imagine taking a used metal detector to a field and finding something like this. Then six hundred more, then turning it over to the experts who found hundreds more beyond that. This is beyond daydreams. Click to enlarge.

1 comment:

Cheap Cigarettes said...

Buy cheap cigarettes online!