Tuesday 24 April 2012

Lancaster City Museum 'ideal place' for Silverdale hoard

Viking silver coin  
The hoard was declared treasure and is currently being valued

A Lancashire museum would be an "ideal place" for a hoard of Viking silver found in the county, experts say.
Gareth Williams, of the British Museum, said an assumption that large finds should go to the national museum was "an old-fashioned view".

The hoard of coins and jewellery was found near to Silverdale, in September 2011, by a metal detector enthusiast.

Mr Williams said housing it in Lancaster City Museum will help the understanding of local Viking history.
It was declared treasure by a coroner in December and is currently being valued.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Funds needed to keep Viking hoard in South Cumbria

Viking silver coins  
The hoard of Viking silver coins and artefacts is valued at £49,500

A fundraising appeal is under way to keep a Viking treasure find within South Cumbria.
The Furness Hoard of Viking Treasure was found a year ago at an undisclosed site by a metal detector enthusiast.

Campaigners need to raise £50,000 to buy and put it on display at the Dock Museum in Barrow.
The Furness Maritime Trust, a charity that supports the museum, has offered £19,000, meaning fundraisers need to raise £31,000.

The hoard includes 92 silver coins, ingots and part of a bracelet

Sunday 15 April 2012

Scientists find runes on ancient comb

Archaeologists have found the oldest engravings of letters ever to be discovered in central Germany, officials from the area announced on Thursday.

 The ancient letters, called runes, were scratched onto a 12.5 centimetre-long comb by Germanic settlers in the second century, scientists working on the site in Saxony-Anhalt believe.

The letters spell out “Kama”, meaning comb, the president of the state Heritage and Archaeology Management Office, Sven Ostritz, said on Thursday.

It is the oldest ever example of runic writing to be found in that part of the country, he added.

Friday 13 April 2012

Skeletons found at mass burial site in Oxford could be ’10th-century Viking raiders’

Thirty-seven skeletons found in a mass burial site in the grounds of St John’s College in Oxford may not be who they initially seemed, according to Oxford University researchers studying the remains.

When the bodies were discovered in the grounds of the college in 2008 by Thames Valley Archaeological Services, archaeologists speculated that they could have been part of the St Brice’s Day Massacre in Oxford – a well documented event in 1002, in which King Aethelred the Unredy ordered the killing of ‘all Danes living in England’.

However, a new research paper, led by Oxford University, has thrown up a new theory – that the skeletons may have been Viking raiders who were captured and then executed.

Ancient coins offer clues about medieval society

Norway’s economic system in the Middle Ages was more sophisticated than previously thought.

Norwegian coin from 1280-85, made in Bergen. (Photo: Svein Gullbekk) 
This claim is based on research on coin circulation in Norwegian society in the years between 1050 to 1320. In this period the use of coins was widespread and frequent, according to historian Svein Gullbekk at the University of Oslo. His study, The velocity of circulation of Norwegian coins c. 1050 to c. 1320 was recently published in a history periodical.

“This debate has been going on for 10 to 15 years,” says Svein Gullbekk. “The main question has been if goods were paid for by coins or commodities.”

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Viking-era 'piggy bank' yields silver treasure

A bronze, Viking-era "piggy-bank" containing thousands silver coins dating from the 11th century has been unearthed on the Baltic island of Gotland in what Swedish archaeologists have described as a "fantastic" treasure find.

The silver treasure was found last Thursday during an archaeological examination of a field in Rone, on southern Gotland.

"We had an expert out there with a metal detector who got a signal that he's found something pretty big," Per Widerström, an archaeologist with the Gotland Museum, told The Local.

The same field has yielded previous treasure finds, including a well-known discovery from the 1880s, when a collection of nearly 6,000 coins dating from the 11th century were uncovered.

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