EBK Activity Sheets


The Staffordshire Hoard
Gold and jewels dug up in a field.
  • The Staffordshire Hoard: from the Portable Antiquities Fickr Page - © Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, used under a Creative Commons Attribution LicenceIn the Summer of 2009, a man with a metal-detector found a large 'hoard' (a collection) of Anglo-Saxon objects in a field near Lichfield in Staffordshire.
  • There were 1,500 objects. Most were gold, some silver and many inlaid with gemstones. They weighed 6.3 kg. That's nearly 4 times the weight of the gold from Sutton Hoo.
  • Archaeologists recognise many of the objects. Some are very similar to objects found at Sutton Hoo. Like Sutton Hoo, the Staffordshire discovery dates from the 7th century.
  • All the objects from the Staffordshire Hoard are parts of bigger items. They have been broken off.
  • Most of them seem to be parts of weapons or armour. There are pieces from helmets and particularly from swords. There are 71 collars and 136 plates from sword hilts (handles) and 84 sword pommels (knobs on the ends of the handles). There are also toggles like those from the scabbard at Sutton Hoo.
  • There were also Christian objects: an inscription from the Bible and two crosses. One large one was all screwed up.
  • Some objects were inlaid with coloured glass using a technique called 'millefiori'; or garnets (red jewels) using a technique called 'cloisonné work'. Some of the gold was decorated with tiny 'fillgree work' (patterns of gold wire) or entwined animal patterns like those in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.
  • Most of the objects are just strips of gold to decorate the edges of something. Many are still to be identified (recognised for what they are).
  • Archaeologists still don't know why someone would bury all these bit of weapons. But they have some ideas.
  • Activity Sheets available.


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