Category Archives: Staffordshire Hoard

‘Saxon The City…’

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‘There’s gold in them hills…’

As my last week at Dyrham appeared on the horizon I had an opportunity to join my fellow trainees on a trip to Birmingham Museum. This was to visit the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ exhibition. Thanks to the lovely Deborah Cane, (Conservation Project Manager for the now world famous collection of Anglo-Saxon artefacts) we had a tour of the conservation studios working on the hoard, and other conservation projects. Having the opportunity to study such a unique find at such close quarters was an honour. The dedicated team, with the help of some expensive but totally awesome equipment, have a time consuming prospect of making sense of the find. No simple job when you consider that the collection of around 3,500 items had been found in one big lump caked together with dirt…

In the time the team has been working on the project they have discovered that of the items analysed so far, there is a distinctly military theme. Many have been removed from their original settings, in some cases, (sword handle decoration for example) disguising their original purpose, and making the teams job of deciphering the collection all the more problematic. The equipment available includes a 3d electro-microscope-thingy that displays an image how your eye would see it but in minute detail, where as conventional equipment would magnify only the top layer. The workmanship is mind boggling. (Even though my mind is easily boggled) They are impressive enough to look at, but when viewed in detail, the collection really comes to life. Be sure to check out the blog on the teams web-site (http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk) and if you find yourself in the middle of Birmingham be sure to pay a visit…