LOST GOLD OF THE DARK AGES: War, Treasure


LOST GOLD OF THE DARK AGES: War, Treasure

CAROLINE ALEXANDER    Book Number: 88829    Product format: Hardback

The stupendous Staffordshire Hoard was found in 2009 by an amateur archaeologist with a metal detector, and when the whole treasure had been unearthed it amounted to 3,500 pieces from hundreds of individual objects. Almost everything was military in character and there were no domestic or feminine objects. The only non-military objects in the Hoard are two crosses and a strip of gold inscribed with words from the Bible. Many of the pieces looked as if they had been deliberately broken, raising the question of why people would do that in politically and militarily turbulent times. There was no clue to suggest what the Hoard was or why it had been buried, although the workmanship was of the highest order, prompting comparisons with the Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells. In an attempt to understand it, the author surveys the whole Anglo-Saxon world, recreating the society of around 650 A.D. in compelling detail. It is hard to disentangle history and myth in this period, for instance Bamburgh Castle, the seat of the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria, is associated with legends of King Arthur. Staffordshire was in the kingdom of Mercia, which was constantly at war with Wessex and Wales, and the Hoard includes sword fittings of superb workmanship that must have belonged to the upper aristocracy or a king. The book suggests that the Hoard may have been part of the treasure of King Cynddylan, who was killed in battle nearby. 240pp, numerous gorgeous colour photos of landscape and artefacts, bibliography.
Published price: £27.50
Bibliophile price: £8.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781426208140
Browse this category: History

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