Treasure of the British Museum: The Vale of York Hoard

The Vale of York hoard   Found near Harrogate, England, probably buried around AD 927    This major hoard of Viking objects was discovered in January 2007. Its size and quality make it one of the most important finds of its type in Britain.  It contains a mixture of different precious metal objects including coins, complete ornaments, ingots (bars) and chopped-up fragments known as hack-silver from Afghanistan, Ireland, even Russia.

The most spectacular single object is a gilt-silver vessel, made in northern France or Germany in around the middle of the ninth century. It was apparently intended for use in church services, and was possibly either looted from a monastery by Vikings, or given to them in tribute. Most of the smaller objects were hidden inside this vessel, which was itself protected by some form of lead container. Among the other objects are a fine gold arm-ring, and over 600 coins, some rare and unknown or relating to Islam and to the pre-Christian religion of the Vikings, as well as to Christianity.    © Trustees of the British Museum

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