13 October 2016

Winter Lecture: The Staffordshire Hoard

The Staffordshire Hoard is the most spectacular Anglo-Saxon find since the excavation of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial (Suffolk) in 1939.

This talk will discuss the award-winning conservation programme and the results from the research program on behalf of the research team. It will also highlight the extraordinary technical ability of the Anglo-Saxon craftsman.

Speaker: Lizzie Miller, Birmingham Museums

The Hoard was discovered in July 2009 by a metal detectorist, a mix of gold, silver and garnet items weighing over 6kg. Although fragmented, damaged and distorted, the hoard’s remarkable objects represent the possessions of an elite warrior class, stunning in their craftsmanship and ornament.

Why it was buried, perhaps before c675 AD, we’ll never know. Significantly it was discovered close to a then major routeway (Roman Watling Street), in what was the emerging Kingdom of Mercia.

Warfare between England’s many competing regional kingdoms was frequent. The Staffordshire Hoard bears witness to this turbulent time in our history.

The Staffordshire Hoard is owned by Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent City Councils, and cared for on their behalf by Birmingham Museums Trust and The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. It was acquired in 2010 with the generous support of the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as public donations.

It is currently undergoing one of the UK’s largest archaeological research projects, conducted by Barbican Research Associates on behalf of the owners and Historic England, who fund the project.