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  • Man finds huge riches :D

    Briton unearths record Anglo-Saxon treasure trove - Yahoo! Philippines News



    An unemployed British man unearthed the biggest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever found in a country field, archaeologists said Thursday.
    The trove of at least 1,350 items, including five kilos (11 pounds) of gold and a smaller amount of silver, was found in July by 55-year-old Terry Herbert with a metal detector near his home in Burntwood, central England.
    The haul, potentially worth a fortune of which Herbert will get half, was officially declared treasure on Thursday by a coroner, who under English law decides the status of such finds.
    It is believed to date from the seventh century AD, and may have belonged to Saxon royalty. The treasure includes sword pommel caps and hilt plates, many inlaid with precious stones.
    "This is absolutely phenomenal. When I first saw the material I was absolutely staggered," said Duncan Slarke, finds liaison officer for the county of Staffordshire, who was the first professional to see the hoard.
    "To see the volume and the quality of this Anglo-Saxon precious metalwork was absolutely stunning and I was literally speechless."
    Presenting the find at a press conference at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, archaeologist Kevin Leahy said none of the experts involved had seen anything like it before.
    "These are the best craftsmen the Anglo Saxons have got, working with the best materials, and producing incredible results," he said.
    Herbert -- who spent five days digging up treasure before calling in expert archaeologists -- described the day he made the find, including a spooky detail before he set out for his day's detecting.
    "I have this phrase that I say sometimes; 'spirits of yesteryear take me where the coins appear', but on that day I changed coins to gold," said the jobless Briton, who took up metal detecting as a hobby 18 years ago.
    "I don't know why I said it that day, but I think somebody was listening and directed me to it... This is what metal detectorists dream of, finding stuff like this. But the vast amount there is is just unbelievable."
    After five days scouring the field with his trusty 14-year-old detector, and digging up ever more treasure, his emotions turned to fear at the scale of his find -- so he eventually called in the experts.
    He said: "I was excited when I started digging up the gold but it was frightening in the end. I was getting frightened about other people getting onto the field, night hawkers.
    "It was like a burden on my shoulders, it became a worry," he said.
    The treasures were found surprisingly close to the surface: some at such a shallow depth that they appeared to have been struck by a plough, in an area about 20 yards (metres) long in a cultivated field.
    "I think what happened was that the plough just nicked the top of the deposit," said Roger Bland, the Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum.
    "I think if it had come back again the next year we would have seen quite a bit of damage."
    While the value of the treasures has not yet been decided, it will likely make Herbert a rich man -- he is expected to share the money with the farmer in whose field it was discovered.
    "It's been more fun than winning the lottery," he said. "People laugh at metal detectorists. I've had people go past and go 'beep beep, he's after pennies'.
    "Well no, we are out there to find this kind of stuff and it is out there," he said.
    One expert told him it was like finding Tutankhamen's tomb, he said. "I just flushed all over when he said that. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, you just never expect this."
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