HOARD

Unique ID: SWYOR-AECB53

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find validated and published by finds advisers

British Museum Report to HM Coroner on Treasure Case 2007 T2: The Vale of York Hoard

The hoard was found while searching on farmland with a metal-detector. It consists of a silver-gilt cup, a gold armring, 67 pieces of silver comprising 4 armrings, and chopped-up fragments of brooches, ingots and rods (hacksilver); and 617 silver coins. The largest pieces of silver were found outside the cup, and 4 coins fell out during retrieval, while the rest of the silver, including the coins, was packed inside the cup and excavated in the Metals Conservation Workshop at the British Museum. There are also many fragments of decayed lead sheet which appear to have formed either a cover or box for the hoard and a few scraps which were found inside the cup: they form part of the potential Treasure find by association.

Surface metal analysis of a representative selection of the items conducted at the British Museum indicated approximate metal contents as follows:-

Cup (rim; no. 1) - 75-78% silver, with copper, zinc and lead (n.b. traces of mercury gilding were detected on the outside).

Gold armring (no. 2) - 94-97% gold, with 2-4% silver, and some copper.

Part of a spherical brooch terminal (no. 6) - 90-95% silver, with copper and lead and a trace of gold.

Five other selected silver pieces (penannular armring, no. 3; bossed brooch fragment, no. 5; flattened armring, no. 7; large ingot, no. 26; curved ingot, no. 27), which all gave a composition of approximately 90% silver, the remainder being copper and lead. No gilding was detected on any of these five pieces.

Contents of the hoard

N.B. the weights given below are before cleaning off adhering soil. Objects found outside or below the cup are asterisked.

A. Gilded silver

1. Silver-gilt cup of globular form with plain flat base, short, slightly convex neck, and thickened, flat rim. The body of the cup is elaborately chased in very low relief with six cable-bordered roundels, each enclosing a running animal in front of a bush or tree motif. The animals appear to represent in turn a stag, a large feline, a doe and a deer, a lion, and a horse, the felines facing forwards and the other animals facing backwards, with a rather panic-stricken look about them. Their hair or fur is shown by curved rows of hatching. There are collared, foliate sprays above and below in the fields between the roundels and collared vine scrolls with clusters of grapes run in bands round the neck and base, separated from the roundels by horizontal, cable-patterned cordons. There are remains of gilding both inside and out, although the extent is obscured by soil. Next to a dent in one side just above the base a small flake of the surface is almost detached, leaving a small hole, and there is a patch of slight abrasion on the base. Diameter, 120 mm (max); height, 92 mm; wt, 380.2 g.

The cup's closest parallel in both form and design is with the cup from the Halton Moor Hoard, Lancashire, in the British Museum. It is certainly from the same workshop, if not made by the same hand, so the two vessels may have formed a pair, or part of a larger set. Although the Halton Moor Hoard was deposited c. 1025, the cup from it was produced earlier in a Carolingian workshop in the mid 9th century (M. Lennartsson, 1999, 'Karolingische Metallarbeiten mit Pflanzenornamentik', Offa, 54-55, 431-619, at p. 565, n. 54). Both cups are related to a group of six, late 8th- mid-9th-century vessels from the Continent and southern Scandinavia by their form and size, and especially by their design to the example from W?oc?awek, Poland, and internal gilding in some cases suggests they were made for liturgical use (D.M. Wilson, 1960, "The Fejø cup", Acta Archaeologica, 31, pp. 147-173, fig. 15a-b). One has a lid and the lid of another survives, suggesting further that others of the group and Harrogate, too, may originally have had lids for use as, e.g. a pyx for holding the consecrated bread of the sacrament.

The vine motif of the Vale of York cup was most likely intended as the emblem of Christ the True Vine, and the six roundels possibly represent the number of creation, but the symbolism of the animal motifs is uncertain, although the three kinds of animal on the Halton Moor cup have been related to the beasts attacking David in Psalm 22 as a type of the Crucifixion by E. Wamers (1991, "Pyxides imaginatae. Zur Ikonographie und Funktion karolingischer Silberbecher", Germania, vol. 69, pp. 97-152, at pp. 101-107). If the cup was produced as one of a set the animals may have had significance as part of a larger group. It has long been suggested that the designs reflect Oriental influence, possibly through the medium of Byzantine textiles, and there is certainly a striking similarity between the lion and 'tree' roundel and the design of a Sasanian silver dish in the Hermitage Museum (C.F. Battiscombe, 1956, The Relics of Saint Cuthbert, Oxford, pp. 419-421, pl. 37, fig. 16). Also, a degree of similarity of form may be observed with broad-bellied Sasanian silver vessels with raised necks, although they are handled and some are provided with foot-rings (cf. B.I. Marschak, 1986, Silberschätze des Orients. Metallkunst des 3.-13.Jahrhunderts und ihre Kontinuität,Leipzig, figs. 20-21, 57, 59, and 81).

The cup from the Vale of York possibly represents loot from a church or monastery in the northern Frankish Empire, which was often raided by the Vikings during the 9th century, or was given as tribute; the Halton Moor cup, for example, may have been taken from Normandy according to Wamers.

B. Gold

2. Gold armring consisting of a narrow strip with tapering ends which have been drawn into wires and twisted round each other; complete, although slightly mis-shapen; diam, 75 mm (max); wt, 46.7 g. It is decorated with continuous, opposed rows of punched V-shapes, each enclosing a small triangle, except in the centre where one pair of Vs points outwards, and at each end there is a paired V on its side. The form is comparable with certain Insular and Scandinavian Viking armrings of the 10th - 11th centuries, e.g. from the Cuerdale Hoard, Lancashire, deposited c. 905-10, and Tolstrup, Denmark (E. Hawkins, 1847, "An account of coins and treasure found in Cuerdale", Archaeological Journal, 4, pp. 110-130, fig. 22; R. Skovmand, 1942, "De danske Skattefund fra Vikingetiden og den ældste Middelalder indtil omkring 1150", Aarbøger for Nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie, 1942). But examples of gold armrings found in hoards are rare, e.g. from the Ballaquayle Hoard, Isle of Man, deposited c. 970 (E. Roesdahl and D. Wilson, eds., 1992, From Viking to Crusader, Uddevalla, cat. no. 362).

C. Silver (excluding coins)

3. Penannular armring of thick, circular-section rod; diam, 74 mm (max); wt, 98.3 g. The slightly hammered appearance is not unusual on such objects and suggests it was not worn. Similar examples, some with tapering ends, occur in 10th-century Insular and Scandinavian hoards, e.g. from Ballaquayle, Isle of Man, Skaill, Orkney, and Slemmedal, Norway (J. Graham-Campbell, 1980, Viking Artefacts: A select catalogue, London, cat. no. 235; E. Roesdahl and D. Wilson, op. cit., cat. no. 141).

4. Plate fragment cut from the end of a curved, triangular terminal of a bossed penannular brooch, with three bosses surviving, two of which have thick filigree collars; decorated with a beaded border enclosing a panel with an interlaced animal motif; the back is plain; width, 52 mm. Wt, 39.4 g. The floruit of this mainly Irish type of brooch was in the later 9th century, although production continued into the 10th, and a similar brooch from Ireland is illustrated by Johansen (O.S. Johansen, 1973, 'Bossed penannular brooches. A systematization and study of their cultural affinities', Acta Archaeologica, 44, 63-124, fig. 35; for production and dating, see J. Graham-Campbell, 1975, 'Bossed penannular brooches: a review of recent research', Medieval Archaeology, 19, 33-47). Contemporary hoards in northern Europe often contain cut fragments of jewellery, known as 'hacksilver', which were cut up for use as bullion in payments or trade transactions.

5. Plate fragment cut from the triangular terminal of a bossed penannular brooch, with one boss surviving enclosed by an incised ring knot; the back is decorated with part of a double ring and a dotted ribbon; length, 25 mm; wt, 9.0 g (for the type, see no. 4 above)

6. Half of a plain, hollow, spherical terminal for a 'ball-type' penannular brooch with a knobbed collar round the junction with the double-stepped end of the hoop; diam, 24 mm. Wt, 16.5 g. A silver ball-type brooch from a hoard from Skaill, Orkney, which was deposited c. 950, has decorated terminals of similar type and hollow terminals replaced smaller solid forms in the early to mid-10th century (J. Graham-Campbell, 1980, Viking Artefacts: A select catalogue, London, cat. no. 197; 1987, 'Western penannular brooches and their Viking Age copies in Norway: a new classification', Proceedings of the Tenth Viking Congress, Oslo, 231-246).

7. Armring of broad penannular band, with the ends folded in and flattened (*). Punched decoration consisting of outer rows of triple-pelleted rounded triangles and a median double row of square/triangular dots, which also occur between the triangles; square terminals, one with four pelleted triangles along the centre; length, 113 mm; width, 22 mm; wt, 131.0 g. A plain example of the type was found in the Cuerdale Hoard, deposited c. 905-10 (see no. 2 above).

8. Doubled-back length cut from an armring of lozenge-sectioned rod with a scrolled, tapered terminal (*); several testing nicks on the edges; length, 144 mm; wt, 11.1 g (joins 21 below?). Scroll-ended armrings, often spiral, are common in Scandinavian Viking contexts, e.g. from Gotland, Sweden (M. Stenberger, 1947, Die Schatzfunde Gotlands der Wikingerzeit, vol. 2, Stockholm, figs. 35, 2-4; 39, 9; and 173, 14-15).

9. Barrel-shaped pendant bead with two single and a double filigree wire round it and one at each end, linked by a loop-in-loop chain to the pin from a brooch, of which only the hinge attachments for the pin survive (*); length, 215 mm. Wt, 16.4 g. The bead has loops at both ends, suggesting that originally it was linked by another chain to a second matching brooch. The missing brooches may have been of the disc type: compare an example with three similar chains and pendants of different forms attached from the Gnezdovo Hoard (R. Hall, 2007, Exploring the World of the Vikings, London, p. 98, fig. bottom right).

10. Sheet fragment possibly from a disc brooch, with curved outer edge, punched decoration of triple-pelleted triangles and two hollow bosses; length, 33 mm; wt, 3.0 g.

11. Upper end of pin from a penannular brooch with broad, plain, looped head; length, 67 mm; wt, 26.3 g. Compare the head of the pin of a bossed penannular brooch from Hatteberg, Norway, which is modelled on the Insular type, and has a parallel in a fragment of a brooch from the Cuerdale Hoard, Lancashire, deposited c. 905-10 (J. Graham-Campbell, 1980, Viking Artefacts: A select catalogue, London, cat. no. 194).

12. Lower end of brooch pin with long, flattened end bent back on itself and incised with a zigzag; probably from no. 11 above; length, 72 mm; wt, 15.1 g

13. Coiled-up length of neckring of six(?) plaited wires with one long, plain, hook-ended terminal surviving (*); length, 103 mm; wt, 113.3 g. This was a longlived Viking form, occurring in both Scandinavia, e.g. the early 10th-century hoards from Slemmedal, Norway, and Skarpa Alby, Sweden, and in the British Isles, e.g. from Ballacamaish, Isle of Man, and the Cuerdale Hoard (E. Roesdahl and D. Wilson, op. cit., cat. nos. 141 and 331; British Museum; Hawkins op. cit., figs. 58-9).

14. Hook-ended terminal of a neckring of flattened rectangular section; plain, with testing nicks on edges; length, 43 mm; wt, 8.0 g

15. Doubled-up length of two wires twisted together; from neckring or armring; length, 92 mm; wt, 25.0 g

16. Folded-up length of two wires twisted together and thinner at one end; from neckring or armring; length, 68 mm; wt, 28.1 g

17. Outward-curving, L-shaped length of rod with finely twisted appearance, except where plain at one end; from an armring of twisted rod or 'Permian' type of the 9th/early 10th century found both in the British Isles and Scandinavia, although probably of Russian origin, e.g. from the Cuerdale Hoard (J. Graham-Campbell, 2006, 'The rings', pp. 73-81 in S.H. Fuglesang and D.M. Wilson, eds., The Hoen Hoard: a Viking gold treasure of the ninth century, Rome, at pp. 74-6); length, 101 mm; wt, 26.1 g

18. Armring of two wires twisted together and tapering at back; diameter, 71 mm; wt, 29.0 g. The form is typically Viking, originating in the 9th century, e.g. from Fyrkat, Denmark (J. Graham-Campbell, 1980, Viking Artefacts: A select catalogue, London, cat. no. 218).

19. Armring of rod with long, tapering ends folded back on each other and probably originally knotted; lightly striated surface; width, 97 mm; wt, 24.1 g. Complete examples occur in the Cuerdale Hoard (Hawkins op. cit., figs. 53-4).

20. Armring of rod with long tapering ends folded back on each other (thinner than 19) and originally knotted; width 80 mm; wt, 21.0 g

21. Narrow, U-shaped length of lozenge-sectioned rod, probably from an armring, or perhaps from a brooch pin (joins 8 above?); length, 43 mm; wt, 11.9 g. Examples of simple knotted armrings of lozenge-sectioned rod occur in the Cuerdale Hoard (Hawkins op. cit., figs. 48-50).

22. Length of thick, twisted wire; from neckring or armring; length, 47 mm; wt, 3.8 g

23. S-shaped length of two wires twisted together; from an armring; length, 33 mm; wt, 3.5 g

24. J-shaped length of thick wire with coiled tapering end; length, 30 mm; wt, 2.6 g

25. Ingot of rounded triangular section, tapering to one end (*); length, 86 mm; wt, 53.6 g. Silver ingots and ingot fragments often occur in Viking hoards in Scandinavia, Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as in Britain, e.g. in the Cuerdale Hoard.

26. Large ingot of almost square section, with rounded ends (*); length, 133 mm; wt, 233.5 g

27. Long, rib-shaped length of an ingot of ovoid section, cut at both ends and curved up at the thinner end (*); length, 132 mm; wt, 132.0 g

28. Section of an ingot of ovoid section (possibly same as the one above), cut at both ends (*); length, 66 mm; wt, 50.7 g

29. Length of broad, bar-shaped ingot, of rectangular section; cut across both ends (*); length, 57 mm; wt, 103.5 g

30. Curved length of ingot of rounded, plano-convex section, rounded at one end and cut across at the other (*); length, 92 mm; wt 122.9 g

31. Cigar-shaped ingot of rounded triangular section; length, 61 mm; wt, 31.2 g.

32. Thin, cigar-shaped ingot of roughly square section, with lump and several testing nicks on edges; length, 45 mm; wt, 12.2 g

33. One end cut from a cigar-shaped ingot of ovoid section (*); length, 32 mm; wt, 24.3 g.

34. One end cut from a cigar-shaped ingot of rounded rectangular section (*); length, 21 mm; wt, 13.4 g

35. Length of cigar-shaped ingot of ovoid section, rounded at one end and cut across at the other; deep nick on one side; length, 41 mm; wt, 20.6 g

36. End cut from a cigar-shaped ingot of rounded rectangular section; length, 20 mm; wt, 13.4 g

37. End cut from a cigar-shaped ingot of rounded rectangular section; length, 15 mm; wt, 6.6 g

38. Length of narrow, cigar-shaped ingot of rounded triangular section, cut across one end and with hammered lump at rounded end; testing nicks on either side; length, 30 mm; wt, 12.1 g

39. End cut from a cigar-shaped ingot of rounded triangular section, with large flattened lump fused to top; several testing nicks; length, 28 mm; wt. 19.1 g

40. Length of cigar-shaped ingot of rounded trapezoidal section, rounded at one end and cut across the other; several testing nicks on all edges; length, 40 mm; wt, 25.5 g

41. End of flattened, cigar-shaped ingot, cut nearly through then broken off; length, 17 mm; wt, 7.8 g

42. Tongue-shaped end of broad, flat ingot of rounded rectangular section, cut obliquely across; length, 41 mm; wt, 60.7 g

43. End cut from a narrow, cigar-shaped ingot of rounded triangular section; length, 14 mm; wt, 2.6 g

44. Long, triangular fragment cut lengthwise and across from an ingot of probably trapezoidal section, with deep nick in edge; length, 25 mm; wt 8.0 g

45. Section cut from ingot of roughly trapezoidal section; width, 19 mm; wt, 10.1 g
Level 5: 4-5 cm

46. Length of ingot of sub-trapezoidal section, cut across both ends and hammered; testing nicks on edges; length, 23 mm; wt, 20.2 g

47. Section cut from ingot of sub-rectangular section; testing nick; width, 17 mm; wt, 10.7 g

48. Length of narrow, cigar-shaped ingot, cut across both ends; several testing nicks on sides; length, 31 mm; wt, 11.6 g

49. Short length of cigar-shaped ingot, roughly cut across both ends; length, 20 mm; wt, 10.9 g

50. Short length of ingot of rounded triangular section, cut across both ends and hammered; length, 18 mm; wt, 9.4 g

51. Section cut from ingot of rounded trapezoidal section; width, 14 mm; wt, 4.2 g

52. Short length cut from ingot of rounded trapezoidal section; bottom surface hammered; length, 16 mm; wt, 13.4 g

53. Short length cut from ingot of ovoid section; length, 16 mm; wt, 9.3 g

54. Short length cut from ingot of rounded trapezoidal section, hammered on the bottom; length, 22 mm; wt, 23.4 g

55. Section cut from ingot of rounded sub-triangular section; width, 11 mm; wt, 5.3 g

56. Section cut from ingot of rounded triangular section; width, 13 mm; wt, 4.9 g

57. Small section cut from ingot of rounded triangular section; width, 9 mm; wt, 2.6 g

58. Slightly curved length of rod of circular section; testing nicks all over; length, 31 mm; wt, 11.8 g

59. Curved, tapering length of rod of circular section; length, 32 mm; wt, 9.4 g

60. Length of thick rod of circular section; testing nicks; length, 28 mm; wt, 11.8 g

61. Section cut from thick rod of circular section; diameter, 9 mm; wt, 2.5 g

62. Curved length of tapering rod of circular section; testing nicks; length, 24 mm; wt, 4.7 g

63. Slightly curved length of rod of circular section; testing nicks; length, 15 mm; wt, 3.3 g

64. Hammered stub of rod of circular section; length, 9 mm; wt, 1.9 g

65. Curved length of lozenge-sectioned rod; testing marks; length, 25 mm; wt, 7.0 g

66. Curved fragment of lozenge-sectioned rod; testing nick; length, 12 mm; wt, 1.6 g

67. Length of bar of low triangular section, bent down at one end; testing nicks; length, 34 mm; wt, 6.0 g

D. Silver coins

The hoard contains a total of 617 coins, dating from the late ninth and early tenth centuries, terminating in the reign of Athelstan (924/5-939). Summary totals are as follows:

Anglo-Saxon
Alfred the Great (871-99), London monogram 3
Alfred, Two-line 47
Alfred, Rex Doro 1
Edward the Elder (899-924/5), Two-line 340
Edward, Bust 48
Edward, Floral varieties 3
Edward, Burh 2
Edward, 'Rose' 9
Athelstan (924/5-39), Two-line 67
Athelstan, Bust 1
Athelstan, 'Church', with York signature 22
Athelstan, 'Church', moneyer only 14
Athelstan, Rex Totius Britanniae 1
Archbishop Plegmund (890-923) 8

Anglo-Viking
Sihtric I (921-926/7) 2
Sword St Peter (Cross reverse) (c.921-927) 22
St Martin (c. 921-927) 1
Other Sword (c. 921-927) 1
Danelaw imitation, Edward Two-line 4
Danelaw imitation, Athelstan Church 1

Carolingian 4

Islamic 15
Nasr b. Ahmad I 1
Ismail b. Ahmad I 3
Ahmad b. Ismail 4
Nasr b. Ahamad II 2
Nasr b. Ahmad (I or II) 1
Caliph Al Mu'tamid 1
Uncertain Samanid 3

Total 617

E. Lead

68. Lead fragments of sheet covering or container.* Wt, 2.15 kg (approx).

69-76. ?Lead scraps from all nine levels in the cup. Wt, 27.0 g (approx)

[Bags of soil from all nine levels in the cup. Wt, 242.0 g (approx)]


Discussion

The coins are mostly in good condition, having been preserved inside the silver bowl. However, a number of them had fused together, and were separated during the initial phase of conservation at the British Museum. In most cases, this separation was entirely successful, but one of the coins (a Two-line type penny of Athelstan, fused to a dirham of Ismail b. Ahmad) proved to be unusually fragile, and broke into three pieces during conservation. One of these remains attached to the dirham, and additional conservation will not be attempted at this stage. Many of the Islamic coins are fragmentary, having effectively been converted into bullion in the Viking period, The coins produced in England include three cut halves and one half of a coin which was broken in antiquity. A few other coins show cracks and minor buckling, but none are fragmentary.

Typically of Viking mixed hoards of the early tenth century, the hoard contains a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Viking, Islamic and Carolingian coins (J. Graham-Campbell, 2001, 'The Northern Hoards, from Cuerdale to Bossall/Flaxton', in N.J. Higham & D.H. Hill (eds), Edward the Elder 899-924, London, pp. 212-29; G.Williams, forthcoming, 'Chapter 3. The Coins', in J. Graham-Campbell et al, The Cuerdale Hoard and related Viking-Age Silver and Gold, from Britain and Ireland, in the British Museum). However, the mixture of coins in the hoard permits an unusually close dating for the hoard. Firstly, the hoard contains none of the early Danelaw types represented in the Cuerdale hoard and other hoards of the very early tenth century. The earliest Danelaw coins are imitations of Edward the Elder's Two-line type, which are not precisely dated, but the majority are of the various sword types of the 920s (M. Blackburn, 2006, 'Currency under the Vikings. Part 2: the Two Scandinavian kingdoms of the Danelaw, c. 895-954', BNJ 76, pp. 204-26) the majority of which appear to be comparatively freshly struck. The latest coin which is assumed to be of Danelaw type is an imitation of the so-called 'Church' type of Athelstan, with a blundered inscription, which appears to very freshly struck. The prototype for this is regarded as one of the earliest issues of Athelstan after his capture of York in 927 (C. E Blunt, 1974, 'The coinage of Athelstan, King of England 924-939', BNJ 62, pp. 35-158, at 89-92).

The Anglo-Saxon types spread over a longer time-span, beginning with three examples of Alfred's London monogram type, struck c. 880, although the majority of the Alfred coins are of the Two-line type, c. 880-899. On casual (and especially non-literate) inspection these are virtually indistinguishable from the Two-line types of Edward the Elder and Athelstan which represent the two largest groups in the hoard, and it is by no means surprising that so many Alfred coins should survive within the hoard. The terminus for the Anglo-Saxon coins is represented by the coins of Athelstan. The hoard ends strongly in coins of Athelstan, representing 17% of the hoard in total. This suggests that the hoard must be deposited far enough into the reign for significant numbers of Athelstan's coins to have penetrated into Viking Northumbria. However, the different types of Athelstan provide an approximate taq for the deposition of the hoard. The 'Church' type, normally comparatively rare is extremely well represented in the hoard, and the majority of the coins of this type carry a York mint signature, and appear freshly struck. As mentioned above, this type was probably introduced fairly quickly following Athelstan's capture of Viking Northumbria in 927. This type was apparently followed fairly closely by the introduction of a Cross type giving Athelstan the title (in various abbreviated forms) Rex Totius Britanniae, which is normally considerably more common than the 'Church' type. The exact date at which this type was introduced is uncertain, but probably around 928 (Blunt, 'The Coinage of Athelstan', pp. 55-57). However, the Rex Totius Britanniae type is represented here by only a single coin. This combination very clearly suggests that the hoard was deposited very shortly after the introduction of the Rex Totius Britanniae type, and therefore in c. 928, and this corresponds very closely with the dating suggested by the Danelaw coinage.

The Carolingian coins add nothing to our understanding of the dating, but the Islamic coins cover a date range between the reign of Nasr b. Ahmad I (AD 864-892) and Nasr b. Ahmad II (AD 913-932). The latest firmly dated Islamic coin is a dirham of Nasr b. Ahmad II, issued in al-Shash in AH 303/ AD 914-5. There is generally a delay of between ten and fifteen years between the latest issue date on Islamic coins and their deposition in Danelaw hoards of the tenth century, so this is entirely consistent with the deposition date of c. AD 928 proposed above. While the undated fragment of Nasr b. Ahmed could conceivably be a little later, there is no reason to assume that this is the case, and the earlier part of his reign is again entirely consistent with the suggested deposition date.

This makes the Vale of York hoard the latest in a growing group of Viking hoards dating from the mid-late 920s, including Warton (Carnforth), Lancs. (c. 925), Thurcaston, Leics. (c. 925), Goldsborough, N. Yorks (c. 925), Flusco Pike 2, Cumbria (c. 925) and Bossall/Flaxton, N. Yorks. (c.927). It is also the largest of these hoards by a distinct margin, although it is considerably smaller than the better known hoard from Cuerdale, Lancs. (c. 905-10) (Williams, 'The coins').

The coins have not been subject to metallurgical analysis, since a sufficient body of analysis has been carried out on other coins of the period to establish beyond reasonable doubt that all of the coins in the hoards will have a high silver content, well in excess of the threshold of 10% required by the Treasure Act (1996).

Summary and Conclusion

All of the material is consistent with a single mixed Viking hoard of a type known from several examples from northern England from the first three decades of the tenth century. The coin evidence enables the deposition of the hoard to be more precisely dated to c. 928, and this is also consistent with the other material in the hoard. Several of the hoards of this period appear to have been deposited in lead or lead-lined containers, and there seems little doubt that the lead fragments found together with the hoard should be considered as associated finds. The coins, and the representative sample of non-numismatic material which has been analysed, have precious metal contents in excess of the 10% threshold established by the Act, and there is nothing with the hoard from which its original ownership could be traced. The hoard therefore meets all of the main criteria of the Treasure Act (1996), and it is therefore our recommendation that it constitutes a clear case of Treasure under the terms of the Act.

Note: thanks due to Prof J. Graham-Campbell for his assistance in identifying the jewellery and to Dr St. J. Simpson for discussion of Sasanian silver vessel forms and decoration.


B.M. Ager
Curator
Department of Prehistory & Europe
11 June 2007

G. Williams

Curator

Department of Coins & Medals

11 June 2007

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2007T2

Chronology

Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: EARLY MEDIEVAL [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: EARLY MEDIEVAL [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Ascribed Culture: Viking [scope notes| view all attributed records]
Date from: Circa AD 928

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 686

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 6th January 2007

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Amy Downes - [ view all attributed records]
Identified by: Mr Barry Ager - [view all attributed records]
Secondary identifier: Mr Gareth Williams - [ view all attributed records]

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2007T2

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Secondary material: Gold [scope notes| view all attributed records]
Completeness: Complete [scope notes | view all attributed records]

A resized image of The Vale of York Hoard

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Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire And The Humber
County: North Yorkshire
District: Harrogate
To be known as: Vale of York

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector [scope notes]
General landuse: Cultivated land[scope notes]

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Created: Friday 2nd November 2007
Updated: Monday 9th July 2012

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