The Staffordshire Hoard dates from the 7th or 8th century, the time of the kingdom of Mercia, most known for its ruler Offa's construction of a dyke to keep the Welsh out of his countryside. The artifacts discovered in Lichfield, Staffordshire, which was the religious center of the Mercian kingdom, have been called the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever found. An amateur treasure hunter with metal detector in hand, Terry Herbert, started unearthing gold crosses, silver and gold sword hilts and pommels, rings, sheet metal and helmets in July 2009. What Herbert found changed how we once thought of the Dark Ages in England, which would prove to be a richer place with gold and silversmiths whose talents we could not imagine.
|Part of sword hilt, inlaid with garnet|
|Sword fitting with garnets|
Learn more about the Staffordshire Hoard. All images provided by Wikimedia Commons.
Lisa J. Yarde writes fiction inspired by the medieval period. She is the author of historical novels set in medieval England and Normandy, The Burning Candle, based on the life of Isabel de Vermandois, and On Falcon's Wings, chronicling the star-crossed romance between Norman and Saxon lovers. Lisa has also written three novels in a six-part series set in Moorish Spain, Sultana, Sultana’s Legacy and Sultana: Two Sisters, where rivalries and ambitions threaten the fragile bonds between members of a powerful family.