15/10/2018
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Silver, not gold, was the most important precious metal in Scotland, Scotland's Early Silver exhibition reveals

3b3da32d-d368-46e4-8224-1a2b542529a5

A new exhibition showing how silver, not gold, became the most important precious metal in Scotland over the course of the first millennium AD is heading to Duff House.

Featuring spectacular objects dating from AD75 to AD1000, and supported by The Glenmorangie Research Project on Early Medieval Scotland, Scotland’s Early Silver explores the part that silver played in the transformation of society in Scotland throughout the first millennium AD.

This touring exhibition includes the Gaulcross hoard on its first full public display. The hoard was excavated in Aberdeenshire in 2013 and 2014 as archaeologists from National Museums Scotland and The University of Aberdeen researched and revisited the site of an earlier find from 1838 and unearthed 80 new pieces of silver. The Gaulcross hoard dates from the 5th century AD, and has cast new light on how early Roman silver was recycled and repurposed over the centuries.

The exhibition also includes the recently discovered hoard from Dairsie in Fife, which dates to the late 3rd century AD and is the earliest known example of hacksilver from anywhere beyond the Roman frontier.

Scotland's Early Silver

New research and recent archaeological discoveries chart the first thousand years of silver in Scotland. The exhibition showcases Scotland’s earliest silver, arriving with the Roman army, and highlights the lasting impact this new material had on early medieval Scotland, when Roman silver objects were hacked up, melted down and recycled to make iconic early Medieval treasures like massive silver chains and ornate brooches.

The exhibition also reflects recent scholarship undertaken to place Scotland’s early silver in a European context through a research network project supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The Gaulcross Hoard

Corinna Leenen, Duff House Collections Manager at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), said: “We’re very pleased to be able to bring this fantastic National Museums Scotland touring exhibition to Duff House. We’re particularly excited to be exhibiting the Gaulcross hoard, which was discovered not too far from Duff House and sheds some light on what life was like in the north-east of Scotland over one thousand years ago.”

Scotland's Early silver exhibition details

Scotland’s Early Silver is now on display at Duff House until Sunday 17th March 2019. Entry to view the exhibition is included in the Duff House admission price, and is free for members. Scotland’s Early Silver is a National Museums Scotland touring exhibition.

QUICK LINK: Archive find reveals a king's taste for bling

(image copyright National Museums Scotland)

Back to "Events & Exhibitions" Category

15/10/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

James Stewart Earl of Moray was assassinated - On this day in history

James Stewart, Earl of Moray, regent for James VI, was assassinated by a firearm on 23 January 1570. ...


Margaret of Denmark: an enigmatic queen - exclusive free read from History Scotland

Dr Amy Hayes explores the life of Margaret of Denmark, wife of James III, mother of James IV and possibly the ...


Scottish MP Joseph Hume was born - On this day in history

Scottish MP Joseph Hume, who founded the memorial to the Scottish Political Martyrs in Edinburgh, was born on ...


Scottish theologian George Gillespie was born - On this day in history

Church leader George Gillespie was born on 21 January 1613 in Kirkcaldy.


Other Articles

Inventor and engineer James Watt was born - On this day in history

James Watt, inventor of the condensor, which helped make the Industrial Revolution possible, was born on 19 ...


Sir John Pringle died - On this day in Scottish history

Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society and physician to King George III, died on 18 January 1782. ...


The Duddingston Curling Society was founded - On this day in history

On 17 January 1795, the Duddingston Curling Society became the first formally organised curling club in the ...


Restored Mary Queen of Scots statue to take pride of place in Linlithgow in time for Month of MQS

A much-loved statue of Mary Queen of Scots has been restored and will be on display at Linlithgow Museum, as ...