The Staffordshire Hoard is one of the great discoveries of British archaeology, an unparalleled treasure of the early Anglo-Saxon period. Its hundreds of objects of the 6th to 7th centuries AD total 4kg of gold and 1.7kg of silver. Chanced upon in summer 2009 in an ordinary field north of Birmingham, the treasure was unprecedented. An archaeological excavation at the site was followed by a dedicated research project to understand why this trove of warriors and kings was buried, and what part it had played in the bloody cauldron of conflict that shaped 7th-century England.
This book provides an accessible account of the Staffordshire Hoard project and its findings. It tells of the discovery of the Hoard, the fundraising campaign to save it for the nation, and the scientific methods used to study it. The Hoard’s many extraordinary objects are described in detail and lavishly illustrated: hundreds of gold, garnet and silver weapon fittings, unique sacred objects, Christian crosses, one magnificent helmet and more. The book also provides an account of the key places, people and events that place this remarkable find in context, with sections on the kingdom of Mercia and its neighbours, Anglo-Saxon warfare, religion, craft techniques and comparable archaeological sites.