A Celtic treasure looted by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago has been discovered in the British Museum’s storerooms. An ornate, gilded disc brooch dating from the eighth or ninth century was found by chance and is being described as a “staggering find”. No-one knew of its existence until now.
It had been concealed in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway by a British archaeologist in the 1880s and acquired by the British Museum in 1891.
Curator Barry Ager, a Vikings specialist, was poring over artefacts before a visit from a Norwegian researching the Viking site when his eye was caught by some metal sticking out of the side of the organic lump.
Intrigued, he asked the conservation department to X-ray it. “At that stage, I really didn’t know what was inside,” he said. “It was a staggering find.”
The Yorkshire Museum has bought the second of two Iron Age torcs, believed to be the first jewellery from the era found in the north, following a successful public fundraising campaign.
Natalie McCaul, the assistant curator of archaeology at the Yorkshire Museum, with the Brigante torcs.
Generous donations from the public and funding bodies have allowed the second of two ancient torcs, both discovered at Towton, near Tadcaster, to be reunited with its sister ring at the Yorkshire Museum.
Found by metal detectorists in 2010 and 2011, buried within metres of each other, the torcs represent the first gold Iron Age jewellery ever found in the north of England. They have been separated since the museum bought the first torc for £25,000 in January 2012.
The urgent appeal to raise £60,000 to enable Saffron Walden Musuem Society to keep five archaeological treasures discovered in the area has already received more than £2,500 of the Society’s £7,500 local funding target.
The thousands of pounds, which have come from generous local donors and organisations, have been donated after the Society launched a public appeal two months ago to keep the items close to where they were buried.
The finds, made by metal detector enthusiasts, were declared treasure after their discovery since 2011.