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article imageViking treasure hoard of over 100 items found in Scotland

By Karen Graham     Oct 14, 2014 in World
A retired businessman using a metal detector has discovered a treasure trove of over 100 Viking artifacts in a field in Dumfriesshire, southwest Scotland. The Viking hoard of treasure dates back over 1,000 years, and is considered an important find.
Retired businessman Derek McLennan of Ayrshire literally dragged himself out of his sickbed to pursue his passion for treasure hunting. It apparently has paid off. This is the second time in the past year that his treasure hunting has come to a successful end. Last year, he found Scotland's biggest hoard of silver coins ever.
He had been given permission by the owner of the field, and after only an hour, he detected a metal object. Thinking it was a spoon, he rubbed the surface and recognized the Viking decoration. "I unearthed the first piece, and 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," he said.
Derek McLennan and his friends looking for treasure.
Derek McLennan and his friends looking for treasure.
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Further digging revealed a solid silver cross, thought to date to the 9th or 10th century. A silver pot of western European origin, over 100 years old when it was buried was also found. Additional items included an exquisite bird pin, metal vessel, armbands, another cross and brooches.
Some of the artifacts found in Dumfriesshire.
Some of the artifacts found in Dumfriesshire.
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Stuart Campbell, National Museum of Scotland's head of Scotland's treasure trove unit said: "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."
This particular Viking hoard is not only historically significant, but of great value in their own right. The gold bird pin and a silver cup engraved with animals, dating to the Holy Roman empire are by themselves worth over six-figures. The gold bird pin is the biggest one that has been found in Scotland since 1891.
The gold pin is considered the largest found in Scotland since 1891.
The gold pin is considered the largest found in Scotland since 1891.
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Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said, "The Vikings were well known for having raided these shores in the past, but today we can appreciate what they have left behind, with this wonderful addition to Scotland's cultural heritage. It's clear that these artifacts are of great value in themselves, but their greatest value will be 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."
The Scandinavian period in Scotland covers a period dating from the 8th century to the 15th century. During this time, Viking and Norse people settled and colonized parts of what is now known as modern day Scotland. The pillaging and mass killing of the native peoples by the Vikings is questionable, based on current historical writings, but it is true that Vikings did settle in what is now Scotland.
Large Silver alloy Carolingian Lidded Vessel.
Large Silver alloy Carolingian Lidded Vessel.
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The Viking's influence on the native people was considerable, and the treasures found buried at Dumfriesshire will open a window into furthering the archaeological history of Scotland. It may also confirm the belief that Vikings were already settled in parts of Scotland in the 9th century during the prelude to the Viking wars in Ireland.
More about viking treasure, Scotland, 10th century, treasure trove, Amateur
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