Saturday, 3 July 2021

The Galloway Viking Hoard

The Galloway Hoard is a hoard of gold and silver objects from the Viking age discovered in Dumfries and Galloway in south-west Scotland in September 2014.
The hoard has been described by experts as one of the most significant Viking hoards ever found in Scotland.
It was discovered by a metal detector enthusiast who reported the find to the authorities. The hoard was valued in 2017 by an advisory panel at £2 million.
A county archaeologist carried out an excavation which revealed the presence of a variety of jewellery from various parts of the Viking world. It is thought that the hoard was buried some time in the mid-ninth or tenth century. The hoard consists of a variety of gold and silver objects including armbands, a Christian cross, brooches, ingots, and what is possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered. The items among the treasure originated across a wide geographic area that includes Ireland, Scandinavia, and central Europe.
Medieval texts date the arrival of the Vikings in the British Isles to the 790s A.D., when fierce raiders appeared along the coasts, plundering rich monasteries and terrorizing local communities. During the three centuries that followed, ambitious Viking chiefs and their followers arrived to conquer and colonize territories in England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, until they and their descendants were finally defeated or assimilated.

Around the early 10th century Viking forces had suffered a serious setback in Ireland, and local Galloway folklore “referred to a Viking army being defeated by a Scots army” at Galloway.
In the upper layer, the team excavated a gold, bird-shaped pin as well as 67 silver ingots and arm rings, many produced by metalworkers in Ireland. This portable silver served as ready cash in the Viking world: the elite hacked off pieces to buy cattle or other commodities, reward loyal followers, or “pay off the troops” in Viking mercenary armies.
Three inches below that trove, researchers found the Carolingian pot, a lidded metal vessel buried upside down, perhaps to keep out ground water. It turned out to be packed with treasures, many carefully swathed in leather and fine textiles. Only six of these Carolingian vessels have ever been found. Scholars believe they were used during important ceremonies in the Catholic Church.

The hoard's mixture of gold, silver, glass, enamel, and textiles is unique

An ancient Anglo-Saxon silver cross buried for more than a millennium has been revealed for the first time. The cross was found as part of the Galloway Hoard, a trove of treasures discovered by a metal detectorist in a field in western Scotland in 2014. The cross, decorated using black niello and gold-leaf, features engravings depicting each of the writers of the Gospels. The Galloway Hoard is regarded as one of the richest and most significant finds of Viking objects ever found in the UK. The cross was made in Northumbria -- what is now northern England and southern Scotland -- in the 9th century for a high-ranking cleric.
Research into the Galloway Hoard has uncovered the name of one of its original owners on a silver arm ring.

An expert examining Anglo-Saxon runic inscriptions on arm rings in the hoard found the name “Ecgbeorht”, which would be Egbert in its modern form.