Hoard of Viking silver coins unearthed in Furness

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A metal detectorist uncovered a Viking hoard of silver coins and artefacts in the Cumbrian countryside. 

The collection, which has been provisionally valued at tens of thousands of pounds, was found in an undisclosed site in Furness. 

It is being examined by experts at the British Museum and is expected to be declared as treasure. 

Experts at Barrow’s Dock Museum hope to acquire the hoard and said it was an exciting find for the area. 

It consists of 92 silver coins and artefacts including ingots and a silver bracelet. Among the coins is a pair of Arabic dirhams. 

Experts believe it is significant evidence of material culture of the 9th and 10th Century Vikings in the peninsula. 

‘Exciting find’ 

Dock Museum curator Sabine Skae said: “This is a very exciting find for Furness. 

“It has national significance because hoards from this period are rare and also nothing has been found in such quantity in this area before. 

“While it is difficult, at this stage, to place a precise value on the find, it is likely to be worth tens of thousands of pounds.” 

The British Museum academics will give their verdict on the coins to the coroner who is expected to confirm it as treasure. 

If it is, it will be valued by an independent committee and the Dock Museum hopes to acquire it. 

British Museum Viking expert Dr Gareth Williams said: “On the basis of the information and photographs that I have seen so far, this is a fascinating hoard. 

“By the mid-950s, most of England had become integrated into a single kingdom, with a regulated coinage, but this part of the north-west was not integrated into the English kingdom until much later, and the hoard reflects that.” 

Source: BBC News Website [July 01, 2011]

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