The Staffordshire Hoard

"This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England… as radically, if not more so, as the Sutton Hoo discoveries. Absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells." - Leslie Webster, Former Keeper, Department of Prehistory and Europe, British Museum

The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire by an amateur metal detector enthusiast. The Staffordshire Hoard comprises of more than 1,500 individual items and most objects appear to date around the 7th century. You can read the entire press statement here.

I am incredibly excited by this hoard. One of the items which really intrigues is a strip of gold bearing a Biblical inscription. I'm excited because we don't often see examples of handwriting from this age as most writing would have been done on (easily perishable) wax tablets. The Lindisfarne Gospels date from around the same period, of course, but seeing writing employed outside a manuscript page is just really, really fantastic - particularly as you are seeing a religious inscription on an arguably secular item.

You can see beautifully detailed photos of the hoard on Flickr and while the Staffordshire Hoard website is currently struggling to cope with the number of visitors, I encourage you to seek it out.