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Digs That Delight

01 Jun 2019

Coming up in July from 13th - 28th is Britain’s ‘Festival of Archaeology’.

Interestingly, this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the discovery of one of our most notable local finds, the Staffordshire Hoard.

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found in the UK. It consists of over 3,500 items, amounting to a total of 5.1 kg (11 lb) of gold, 1.4 kg (3 lb) of silver and some 3,500 pieces of garnet enamelled jewellery.

The hoard was most likely deposited in the 7th century, and contains artefacts probably manufactured during the 6th and 7th centuries.It was discovered in 2009 in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England. The location was in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia at the time of the hoard’s deposition.

The hoard is of considerable importance in Anglo-Saxon archaeology. The quality of the workmanship is extremely high and especially remarkable in view of the large number of individual objects, such as swords and a helmet, from which many of the fragments in the hoard came.

The hoard was purchased jointly by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery for £3.285 million under the Treasure Act 1996.

If you’re interested in visiting an archaeological site, why not pop along to Wall in Staffordshire. This site was an important staging post on Watling Street, the Roman military road to north Wales. The road network was crucial to the Romans’ control over their empire. At staging posts like Wall weary Roman officials, soldiers and imperial messengers could find lodging for the night and change their horses.

At Wall today you can still see the remains of an inn for travellers and the public baths, with its sequence of cold, warm and hot rooms. The museum provides a fascinating insight into life here and displays many excavated finds.

The site is managed and maintained by English Heritage, and owned by the National Trust and if you wish to visit, you can find more information here: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/wall-roman-site

The festival is coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, which aims to showcase the very best of archaeology for everyone. You can find local events that will help you to...

• Explore the local archaeology of your area, watch experts at work, & experience the excitement of archaeology on a dig.

• Enjoy farm & woodland-themed activities, talks & tours on the latest discoveries and expert-led walks.

• Experience life in the past with living history, warfare demonstrations, food tasting & mosaic making.

• Learn about the technology behind archaeology & have a go at geophysical & topographic surveys, or take part in mini-excavations.

To find more events nearby, visit: www.festival.archaeologyuk.org

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