A combination of handout images obtained yesterday from Britain's Staffordshire County Council, shows (clockwise from top left) a Folded Cross, a Gold and Garnet Scabbard Boss, a selection of gold and silver items and a Hilt Fitting found in a field in central England. Terry Herbert, an unemployed British man, unearthed the biggest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever found, while out with his metal detector in a field, archaeologists said yesterday. The treasure trove of at least 1,350 items, includes 5 kilos of gold and 2.5 kilos of silver.
An amateur treasure hunter prowling English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered, a massive collection of gold and silver crosses, sword decorations and other items, British archaeological experts said yesterday.
One said the treasure would revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the 5th century until the Norman conquest in 1066. Another said the find would rank among Britain's best-known historic treasures.
"This is just a fantastic find completely out of the blue," Roger Bland, who managed the cache's excavation, told the Associated Press. "It will make us rethink the Dark Ages. That's basically what it's going to do."
The 7th century hoard, found by 55-year-old Terry Herbert on farmland in western England two months ago, consists of about 1,500 pieces of gold and silver, some inlaid with precious stones. So fine is the craftsmanship that experts say it could have belonged to Anglo-Saxon royalty.