Staffordshire Hoard: Gold fragments found in Hammerwich

New gold pieces The coroner will rule on 4 January if the gold is part of the Hoard

About 90 more pieces of gold and silver believed to belong to the Staffordshire Hoard have been found.

The discovery was made by archaeologists in the same Staffordshire field at Hammerwich where 3,500 pieces were found in 2009.

Some of the new pieces are fragments that fit with parts of the original hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver.

They include a possible helmet cheek piece, a cross shaped mount and an eagle shaped mount.

Smaller scale

Many items weigh less than a gram, the council said.

Island invaders

  • Anglo-Saxon refers to settlers from the German regions of Angeln and Saxony who began attacking Roman Britain in AD410
  • The continental invaders were generally called "Saxons" by their neighbours. England is still called "Sasana" in Gaelic
  • By AD500, many invaders had settled and they occupied most of England east of a line from the Humber to the Isle of Wight
  • The Anglo-Saxons had their own religious beliefs, but the arrival of Saint Augustine in AD597 converted most of the country to Christianity
  • The Anglo-Saxon period lasted about 600 years and ended in 1066 with the Norman Conquest

Source: BBC History

County council leader Philip Atkins said: "While it is far too early to say exactly what they are, or how old they are, they are certainly interesting finds.

"Although not on a scale with the previous find, it's another piece in the jigsaw of finding out more about our national Anglo Saxon heritage."

A team of archaeologists and metal detectorists from the Stoke-on-Trent Museum Society and Archaeology Warwickshire recovered the material at the field after it had been ploughed last month.

The items are currently being examined and x-rayed at a laboratory.

"We think these items were buried at a deeper level which is why we didn't find them first time around," said county council archaeologist Steve Dean.

"We always wanted to come back and look for other items - pottery, other metalwork - so we always had the intention of coming back once the field had been ploughed."

"We will be keeping an eye on the field and we would, with the farmers permission, like to go back in a couple of years when he ploughs again to see if it turns up anything else," he added.

Detector discovery

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh will rule at an inquest on 4 January if the new metalwork pieces are part of the Staffordshire Hoard and should be declared treasure.

Gold pieces are x-rayed The items are currently being examined and x-rayed at a laboratory

The original hoard, which consists of 3,900 items, was found in July 2009 by metal detectorist, Terry Herbert at the field.

The artefacts have been dated to the 7th and 8th centuries and are currently on display in Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery jointly own the original hoard, which includes gold and silver artefacts.

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