SWYOR-F86A02: West Yorkshire Saxon Gold Hoard

Rights Holder: The British Museum
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Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
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Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service
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Unique ID: SWYOR-F86A02

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Summary: Five gold objects dating to the 7th to 11th centuries were found in three batches over two days. No. 4 was found first, no. 5 the following day, and nos. 1-3 the same evening as no. 5 and in close association. Subsequently a further gold finger-ring and a lead spindle-whorl were found; these are recorded at SWYOR-3B5652 (2009T221).

1. Finger-ring set with a garnet (c. 900-c. 1000 AD). Dimensions: 42mm (length of bezel), 32mm (width of bezel), c. 11mm (height of bezel), 33.5mm (total height of ring), 3mm (thickness of hoop). Weight: 30.17g.

2. Finger-ring with enlarged bezel (c. 900-c. 1000 AD). Dimensions: width of bezel 16mm; maximum diameter 22mm; weight 9.48g.

3. Finger-ring with niello panels (c. 780-c. 950 AD). Dimensions: diameter of hoop 27mm; width of oval areas 5mm; weight 15.09g.

4. Gold ingot (c. 875-c. 1100 AD). Dimensions: length 19mm; width 9mm; thickness max 5mm; weight 8.35g

5. Cloisonné fragment (c. 600-c. 660 AD). Dimensions: 23mm x 21mm; Weight 3.44g

Scientific analysis: Non-destructive X-ray fluorescence analysis of the surface of the five gold objects from West Yorkshire, carried out by the British Museum's Department of Conservation and Scientific Research indicated the following composition ranges: No. 1 = 86-90% gold, 6-8% silver, and 3-6% copper (the garnet was identified by Raman spectroscopy)

No. 2 = 77-81% gold, 15-17% silver, and 4-6% copper

No. 3 = 85-89% gold, 9-11% silver, and 2-4% copper

No. 4 = 75- 79% gold, 19-22% silver, and 2-4% copper

No. 5 = 88-92% gold, 4-6% silver, and 3-6% copper.

General discussion: The hoard is likely to have been buried in the 10th century at the earliest; the dating of the objects is based on stylistic as well as technological comparisons with other material. The hoard contains a cut fragment of an antique brooch, as well as four up-to- date pieces.


The age and precious metal content of these items qualify them as Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996. Addenda to this hoard (one further gold finger-ring and a lead spindle-whorl) can be found under SWYOR-3B5652.

Information about this hoad has been published on the Yorkshire archaeological Society Medieval Section webiste: http://www.medieval.yas.org.uk/bl0g/?p=892

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Leeds Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2008T553


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 700
Date to: Circa AD 1100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 5

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 14th September 2008 - Monday 15th September 2008

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Amy Downes
Identified by: Ms Amy Downes
Secondary identifier: Dr Sonja Marzinzik

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2008T553

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Leeds (Metropolitan District)
District: Leeds (Metropolitan District)
To be known as: West Yorkshire

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Leeds Museum
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland
Specific landuse: Disturbed

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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