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The quality of Mercia is not stained

March 31, 2011
Seahorse

Stylised seahorse, Staffordshire Hoard, Mercian Trail

Image Credit: Staffordshire Hoard

The story so far

Mercia, 7th century: A time of deadly conflict

The proud kingdom of Mercia is expanding its power and lands. Its armies are fighting bloody wars with neighbouring kingdoms – Northumbria to the north, East Anglia to the east and Wessex to the south. Superbly armed warriors fight and die on blood splattered battlefields.

Their swords and battle finery are collected and stripped of their gold fittings. Gathered together with crosses and other fine objects, this precious treasure is mysteriously buried on a hill top. Centuries passed…

Staffordshire, 2009

A solitary man with a metal detector makes an astounding discovery in a farmer’s field just outside of Lichfield in Staffordshire – over 3,500 items of gold and silver with precious stone decorations. Now world famous, the Staffordshire Hoard is so much more than a collection of Anglo-Saxon war booty – it’s the legacy of craftsmen whose artistry fashioned precious metals and gemstones into incredibly detailed sword hilt fittings, helmet parts and other items. It’s also the story of kings, religious men and their warriors, who carried these pieces into battle, who fell, and were later stripped of their finery. [Read more]

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