Friday, December 7, 2012

Bedale Viking Hoard on Display

Viking Silver Hoard, Bedale
© David Gill
I was able to pop in and see the Bedale Viking Hoard on display in Room 2 of the British Museum (next to the relocated Sutton Hoo material). The hoard was found in May 2012 on farmland in North Yorkshire. The label in Room 2 tells us that the finders were 'walking' across an open field when they 'found' the hoard. The impression given by the label suggests a chance find made during a ramble through the lush countryside of the Yorkshire dales.

The Northern Echo ("Viking treasure unearthed in North Yorkshire", December 4, 2012) gives a significantly different version: "A pair of metal detectorists stumbled across a fabulous hoard of Viking treasure as they scanned a field in North Yorkshire."

The PAS database confirms this: "The hoard was found while searching with a metal-detector on open pasture land".

Why does the British Museum and PAS fail to mention metal-detecting on the public label for the display? Is there a growing unease about the growing number of hoards that are being removed from the ground in England and Wales?

For an academic forum piece on this issue ("The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the Archaeology of England and Wales?"), and published by the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, see here.

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1 comment:

heritageaction said...

Perhaps the mystery lies in the fact it was said to be pasture land?

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