The Staffordshire Hoard: an Anglo-Saxon Treasure

Barbican Research Associates, 2017

Data copyright © Barbican Research Associates, Birmingham City Council, Trustees of the British Museum, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Birmingham Museums Trust unless otherwise stated


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Barbican Research Associates (2017) The Staffordshire Hoard: an Anglo-Saxon Treasure [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1041576

Introduction

The mount catalogue no. 513 copyright Barbican Research Associates

The mount catalogue no. 513. Photo - Lucy Martin, X-radiograph – Lincolnshire Archives, drawing – Chris Fern. © Barbican Research Associates Ltd.

This collection forms part of the outcome of the project Contextualising Metal-Detected Discoveries: Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon Hoard (Historic England Project 5892). The project has been running since 2011 and is due to be completed in the summer of 2017. The full outcome will be a book (The Staffordshire Hoard: an Anglo-Saxon Treasure edited by C. Fern, T. Dickinson and L. Webster) to be published by the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2018, and further additions to this collection including a full database of all the hoard objects. These will be released to coincide with the book publication.

The hoard was first discovered in July 2009 by metal-detecting activity and subsequently more fully recovered through excavation by Birmingham Archaeology. When found it consisted of approximately 7 kilos of primarily gold objects belonging to the later sixth and seventh centuries AD. It attracted world-wide attention when its discovery was announced following the inquest in September 2009 when it was declared to be a Treasure find. The Treasure Valuation Committee put a value of £3,258,000 on it. This sum was successfully reached through fund-raising to keep it in public ownership. Additional fragments were found in 2012 through a planned metal-detecting and field-walking survey by Warwickshire Archaeology following the first ploughing of the field since 2009. These pieces were also declared Treasure and acquired following further fund-raising.

The Staffordshire Hoard is now jointly owned by Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council and cared for on their behalf by Birmingham Museums Trust and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. The Staffordshire Hoard research project is managed by Barbican Research Associates Ltd and funded by Historic England and the owners.

The overarching aim of the research project has been to make details of this unusual find available to both the scholarly community and the general public as promptly as possible within the bounds of good scholarship. The first aim of the project was to establish what the Hoard consisted of. This was not a simple question to answer as the material had been deliberately dismantled and consisted of c. 4,000 fragments. We now know they came from c. 700 objects. Other research aims were to answer the questions of when it was deposited, why it was deposited, what it tells us about seventh-century life and what we can learn from the experience of dealing with such a large and unexpected find.

As part of the aim to make details of the research available as promptly as possible, this collection consists of 24 of the specialist studies that have been commissioned during the life of the project to date.