Sunday 24 September 2017

Hoard of Viking treasure 'just a lucky find'

Sherna Noah in London

A MAN who found a hoard of Viking silver that had lain undetected for over a thousand years has described his discovery as "lucky".

Darren Webster got his metal detector out in a field near his home when he had an hour to spare, and 20 minutes later was digging up a hoard of hidden silver coins and jewellery.

The 39-year-old stone mason made the discovery in September on land in north Lancashire.

"The minute I found it I knew what it was or had a very good idea what it was. The coins, the bracelets, I knew it was possibly Viking -- more than likely Viking," he said.

Mr Webster found the hoard buried in a lead pot about 16 inches underground.

Strange

He said it was "a very strange feeling" knowing he had found something that had lain undiscovered for hundreds of years. "Some people search all their life and don't find anything like that. I was very lucky to find what I found."

Experts believe the hoard -- which includes 27 coins, 10 arm rings, two finger rings, 14 ingots, six brooch fragments and a fine wire braid -- could have been buried by a Viking warrior before he went into battle.

It dates from a time when the Anglo-Saxons were trying to take control of the north of England from the Vikings and includes a coin that is thought to refer to a previously unknown Viking ruler in northern England.

A coroner will decide later this week whether it qualifies as treasure. If it does, an independent committee will value it and any money raised will be divided equally between Mr Webster and the landowner.

Irish Independent

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