13/10/2014
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Viking hoard found in Dumfries & Galloway

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A metal detecting enthusiast has unearthed what has been described as 'one of the most significant finds of its kind ever made in Scotland'.

Amateur detectorist Derek McLennan has discovered a hoard of Viking treasure on church land in an undisclosed location in Dumfries & Galloway. Among the treasures found are rare gold and silver items including armbands, brooches, a unique enamelled cross (pictured right) and a metal vessel (left) containing more artefacts. The hoard, which is believed to comprise more than 100 items, has been handed to the Treasure Trove unit and will now be examined by experts.

The hoard has already been declared one of the most significant Viking finds in Scotland according to Treasure Trove unit head Stuart Campbell: 'This is a very important and significant find and has required the close cooperation of Historic Scotland with Treasure Trove Unit and National Museums Scotland staff to recover the fascinating items it contains.

'Due to the quantity and variety of the objects, and the importance of the find overall, it will take some time for experts to assess the hoard as a whole so that we can appreciate its true significance.'

WATCH THE VIDEO

Archaeology experts scanned the hoard in a CT machine and you can watch the process here:


UNDERSTANDING LIFE IN EARLY MEDIEVAL SCOTLAND

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs added: '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 artefacts 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 Dumfries hoard opens a fascinating window on a formative period in the story of Scotland and just goes to show how important our archaeological heritage in Scotland continues to be.

'As ever, the Scottish Government will work to facilitate and support the discovery, analysis and exhibiting of finds like this, for the benefit of people here and abroad. With that in mind I would like to echo the praise for the responsible behaviour of the metal detectorists: without their continued cooperation this would not be possible.'

For more on the work of Treasure Trove Scotland, visit the website.

(Images copyright Treasure Trove Scotland)

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