The Vale of York Hoard
Discovered in 2007 and acquired by the British Museum and York Museums Trust, the Vale of York hoard was buried in the late 920s in the reign of the West Saxon king Athelstan, in what is now North Yorkshire. This was a crucial time in the unification of England and the contents of the hoard offer us insight into this turbulent and fascinating political period. The spectacular gold and silver jewellery, ingots and coins in the hoard originally came from regions ranging from Ireland to the Middle East. They represent Christianity, Islam and the worship of Thor, reflecting the amazing cultural diversity, contact and exchange in the Viking world, as well as the scope of Viking raiding and trading. The size of the hoard is impressive and the presence of some particularly valuable items such as a rare and beautiful silver gilt cup, previously unrecorded coins and a decorated gold armband indicate the extreme wealth of the owner of the hoard; possibly a powerful chieftain. This book describes the individual items in the Vale of York treasure and explores the historical and political context of the burial of this exceptional hoard, offering a fascinating picture of the Viking age.
Author: Gareth Williams and Barry Ager
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