Thursday, July 19, 2007

Treasure hunters discover Viking treasure worth £1m!

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A £1 million collection of Viking artefacts, discovered by a father and son team of amateur treasure-hunters using metal detectors, is set to be unveiled at the British Museum.

Experts say the artefacts, including hundreds of silver coins, ornaments and a spectacular gilt silver vessel, are the most important Viking hoard discovered in Britain in the last 150 years.

The collection is expected to be officially declared treasure today, paving the way for the museum to buy it and put it on public display.

The pieces were found in January, on farmland in North Yorkshire, by father and son David and Andrew Whelan. They alerted the authorities and experts from the British Museum were called in to excavate the site.

The hoard's existence has been kept a secret until now as the authorities decided whether it could formally be declared treasure.

The coroner for North Yorkshire is expected to make that announcement today, meaning Mr Whelan, 60, and his 35-year-old son will be entitled to a 50 per cent share of its sale price. The landowner will get the other half.

The treasure was probably buried for safekeeping by a wealthy Viking leader during the unrest that followed the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria in AD 927 by the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan. Link

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