Once again an enthusiastic amateur with a metal detector has come up trumps when looking for buried treasure. Derek McLennan is a 47 year old committed treasure seeker who had been searching church land at an undisclosed location in Dumfries and Galloway for the last year.
He managed to discover a rare and valuable hoard of Viking treasure in one of the most significant finds of its kind ever made in Scotland. When his searching led to the finding of in excess of one hundred objects he was the happiest of men having once again discovered treasure with his metal detector. This wonderful accumulation of so-called Carolingian – west European – and Irish objects has caused a real stir among archaeologists.
This is because it includes – according to the Treasure Trove Unit in Scotland – some gold pieces, brooches, silver ingots and armbands alongside a metal vessel filled with more treasures that has yet to give up the secrets it holds. It is planned to begin this investigation by subjecting the vessel to x-rays in the first place.
Described by experts as one of the most significant ever Viking hoards the quantity and condition of the trove is such that it is certain to be some time before experts can fully assess the hoard as a whole and come to proper conclusions regarding the true significance of this astonishing discovery, the like of which has never before been seen.
A Church of Scotland spokesman commented that among the objects unearthed was an 9th or 10th century Christian cross with enameled decorations which is believed to be very rare. This was uncovered by Mr McLennan alongside many silver arm rings an two-foot ingots as well as what is possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered, with lid intact and perhaps already a century old when buried.
Mr McLennan was with a pair of treasure hunting clerics at the time of the find and the church has reached an agreement with him about sharing the proceeds in due course. It is not the first time that this man has found buried treasure but it is an incredible find and the study of it can contribute a great deal to understanding more about life in early medieval Scotland.
Now referred to as the Dumfries hoard this astounding find does indeed allow archaeologists a window on a period in the story of Scotland about which not enough is known. The find goes to underscore the vital importance of the archaeological heritage of Scotland.
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
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