Huge Viking treasure hoard linked to Ireland
A HOARD of Viking treasure with Irish links has been unearthed by a metal-detecting enthusiast in one of the most significant finds of its kind ever made in Scotland.
More than 100 objects, some of them made of gold, were discovered on church land at an undisclosed location in Dumfries near the coast of the Irish Sea.
The "historically significant" find was made by Derek McLennan (47) a committed metal detectorist who had been searching the area for the past year.
The rich hoard of artefacts, many of which are unique, includes several of Irish origin. The material comprises many silver ingots, armbands and brooches, as well as several gold objects.
Experts at the unit described the find as "one of the most significant Viking hoards ever discovered in Scotland".
The find sheds light on the seafaring warriors' links with the rest of northern Europe.
The Church of Scotland, on whose land the discovery was made, said an early Christian cross thought to date from the ninth or 10th century was among the objects unearthed.
There are amulets from Ireland and jewellery from Scandinavia.
The hoard falls under the Scots law of treasure trove, which provides for a reward to be made which is judged equivalent to the market value of the items.
Mr McLennan is no stranger to finding treasure.
He was part of a group that discovered more than 300 medieval silver coins shortly before Christmas last year.