Monday, December 12, 2011

Anglo-Saxons at NATGEO

The National Geographic Society is hosting a fantastic exhibit about the Staffordshire Hoard. See and

Archaeological fanatics will no doubt dislike the exhibit's heroic photograph of the metal detectorist who found the hoard, but without him, the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme, it is highly unlikely the hoard would ever have come to light.

This is not a conventional hoard of buried treasure. Rather, it appears to be a collection of battlefield spoils. The hoard was found spread about a farmers field near the site of an old Roman road. There were absolutely no other features to attract the interest of archaeologists, and it is highly doubtful the site would ever have been explored if the find was not reported.

The exhibit itself is by far the best ever I have seen at the National Geographic Society. Great care was taken not only to conserve the objects, but to place them in historical context with the use of reconstructions, videos and computer graphics. Kudos to National Geographic and the many groups that made this exhibit possible.

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