Viking treasure hoard is the talk of the town


METAL detectorists will take audiences on a journey through time, as they relive the excitement and mystery of their Viking discovery.

Justin Bell and Daniel Boakes are giving talks at The Beacon Museum in Whitehaven on the hoard of Viking silver they discovered, hidden in a west Cumbrian field.

Described as a “major finding” the hoard of silver ingots helped unravel a new chapter in history, paving the way for historians to discover more about the county’s role in intercontinental trading.

Although the discovery was made in a Beckermet field five years ago, the silver ingots played a role in a University of Oxford investigation this year.

Scientists travelled to the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton to analyse the artefacts with lasers to discover their origins.

Being Norse in origin but made of silver material, the scientists questioned where it came from – as the Vikings did not mine silver in Scandinavia. They discovered the hoard was from the late ninth or early tenth century, made up of traded Islamic Dirhams and Carolingian coins.

The haul is now being referred to as “nationally significant”.

Justin and Daniel’s talks will take place tomorrow and August 27 and 29 from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, they are suitable for all ages but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

They will cover metal detecting skills and will give people the chance to handle real Viking silver. Admission is free with entry to the museum.

The talks are part of a slew of Norse-related events, including Norse object handling sessions. One of the events explores Norse mythology, ‘The Legend of Loki: An Evening of History, Mystery and Mead’.

Steve Wharton will tell stories about the Norse god of mischief with musical accompaniment, and author/historian, Peter Fox will delve into Viking heritage that is still around us today as well as performing an extract from his new book The Shadow of Fenrir.

Every day, on the hour between 10am and 3pm, the public can handle Viking artefacts, clothing and armour.

For details on all the events at the Beacon Museum visit thebeacon-whitehaven.co.uk





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