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article image1,000 year old Viking treasure unearthed in Scotland

By Greta McClain     Oct 14, 2014 in World
Dumfries - A retired businessman has discovered an ancient Viking treasure while exploring with a metal detector in the Scottish coastal city of Dumfries, in Dumfriesshire.
Derek McLennan, 47-years-old, was searching the area last month when his metal detector located something. After locating the first item, McLennan continued to dig and found 100 different pieces, including armbands, a cross and several brooches. Some of the gold and silver artifacts date back as far as 1,000 years. According to Yahoo News, a solid silver cross is believed to date back to the 9th or 10th century, and a silver pot is thought to be at least 100 years old.
McLennan almost didn't discover the treasure, saying he awoke that morning feeling ill, but he had two friends that wanted to join him for some metal detecting. Once we began unearthing the artifacts, he initially did not realize how important his discovery was, saying:
“I unearthed the first piece; initially I didn't understand what I had found because I thought it was a silver spoon and then I turned it over and wiped my thumb across it and I saw the saltire-type of design and knew instantly it was Viking. Then my senses exploded.”
Photos of the Viking hoard found in Scotland
Photos of the Viking hoard found in Scotland
Screen Capture
According to Stuart Campbell, the head of the National Museum of Scotland's treasure trove unit, many of the artifacts are believed to be from a Viking hoard, telling the BBC:
"This is a hugely significant find, nothing like this has been found in Scotland before in terms of the range of material this hoard represents. There's material from Ireland, from Scandinavia, from various places in central Europe and perhaps ranging over a couple of centuries. So this has taken some effort for individuals to collect together."
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said the artifacts are indeed quite valuable monetarily, but believes the greater value is in what they can contribute to our understanding of life in early medieval Scotland, and "what they tell us about the interaction between the different peoples in these islands at that time."
Under Scottish law involving the discovery of a treasure trove, a reward is given to the finder and the landowner if different than the finder. Both McLennan and the Church of Scotland, owner of the land in which the treasure was found, have agreed to an equitable sharing of any proceeds.
More about Scotland, Treasure, Vikings, viking treasure, Viking Hoard
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