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£1.98 M needed to save 1,000-year-old Viking artifacts found in Scotland

June 3, 2017

Detail of an artifact from the Galloway Hoard.
Click on image to enlarge.

A campaign is underway to raise £1.98 million by November 2017 to acquire the Galloway Hoard, a collection of 1,000-year-old Viking artifacts discovered two years ago by metal-detectorists in Humphrey and Galloway.

According to the Observer:

Many of the items in the Galloway Hoard have never been found in Scotland before, let alone all together in one find. The Hoard’s contents raise new questions about the vast expanse of Viking trade routes and the connections they formed along the way. But while there is still much to be learned about the objects in the trove, the materials almost certainly travelled great distances before they made it to Scotland, according to NMS Viking expert Dr. Martin Goldberg. Of particular interest are a series of five Anglo-Saxon disc brooches crafted in a style never before found throughout Scotland, and four clover-shaped brooches that Mr. Goldberg says are completely new to Britain.

The National Museums of Scotland, which is hoping to acquire the works, notes on its website that this is, “the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.”


Artifacts from the Galloway Hoard.

The website continues:

Of international significance, it includes silver, gold and jewelled treasure from across Ireland, the Anglo-Saxon world, the Holy Roman Empire, Byzantium and beyond. Other finds from around Britain and Ireland have been exceptional for a single class of object, for example, silver brooches or a gold ingot. The Galloway Hoard brings together a stunning variety of objects in one discovery, hinting at hitherto unknown connections between people across Europe and perhaps much further afield.

Four-lobbed brooch from the Galloway Hoard.
Click on image to enlarge.

The Observer quotes Viking expert Dr. Martin Goldberg on the collection’s significance:

“These objects are telling us [the Vikings’] travels during this period of history goes way beyond what we expected,” he explained. “We can understand the mechanism for how these things got here—new areas of expansion and connections with the continent—but the range of material is quite unexpected. The distance we already suspect some of these objects have travelled, and the types of objects they are, we’re going to have to look far afield to identify them.”

The National Museum of Scotland is currently seeking permission to display select items from the Hoard, and its longterm goal includes ensuring that a large portion of the treasure go on longterm display at the Kirkcudbright Art Gallery in Dumfries and Galloway.

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