LGA Mercian Trail Presentation - Final

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  • 1.  
  • 2. The start of an incredible journey
  • 3. ‘ The hard helmet, hasped with gold, will be stripped of its hoops’ Beowulf, 2255-6
  • 4. ‘ In pure gold inlay on the sword-guards there were rune-markings correctly incised stating and recording for whom the sword had been first made and ornamented with its scrollworked hilt.’ Beowulf 1694-98
  • 5. ‘ They let the ground keep that ancestral treasure, gold under gravel, gone to earth as useless to men now, as it ever was.’ Beowulf, 3166-68
  • 6.  
  • 7. July 2009
  • 8. Hammerwich, near Lichfield in Staffordshire
  • 9. Comparisons have been made to Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, found in 1939, which included 2kg of gold.
  • 10. 5kg of gold and 1.3kg of silver
  • 11. Over 1,500 pieces of beautifully crafted gold and silver from the 7th century Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia.
  • 12. Most valuable treasure hoard ever discovered in the UK, worth £3.3 million
  • 13.
    • Fragments of weaponry and battle regalia.
    • Three Christian crosses have been bent into folds, as had a strip of gold with a biblical inscription in Latin.
    • No feminine items such as dress fittings, brooches or pendants.
    • Not buried with a grave.
    • Unravelling the story.
    • How did it get here? Who did it belong to? Why was it buried here? Is there a signficance to the place? Is it booty? Was it the crime of the century?
    Where did it come from?
  • 14.  
  • 15.
    • During the Anglo-Saxon era, Lichfield and environs were part of the Kingdom of Mercia.
    • Mercia was one of Britain’s largest and most aggressive kingdoms, stretching from Humber to London.
    • Its belligerent kings and chieftains waged brief but ferocious battles.
    Discovering the Hoard
  • 16.  
  • 17.
    • Reported, by finder Terry Herbert, to the local Scheme's Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
    • A team of worked in secret at the Hammerwich site.
    • Declared treasure under Treasures Act.
    • Placed in the care of the British Museum.
    • British Museum said it needed to remain in the region of discovery.
    • A national first!
    Renaissance and the regions
  • 18.  
  • 19. Celebrities swing into action behind the fundraising campaign
  • 20.
    • Arts & Business wrote an umbrella fundraising strategy.
    • The Art Fund was appointed to lead on the fund raising.
    • The Art Fund is a charity devoted to raising funds to keep art in the country.
    • A giving website was been built.
    • Ways of online paying were set up.
    • Public launch delivered.
    • Ongoing campaigns delivered.
    A national & regional effort A national & regional approach
  • 21.
    • Valued by an independent committee of experts.
    • Value agreed with the finder and landowner at £3.3million.
    • Deadline 17 April to raise the funds.
    • Achieved 23 March - included £900,000 of public donations.
    • Believed to be the biggest amount of public donations to a museum’s cause in the UK.
    • £1,285,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Foundation.
    • Now further funds are needed to conserve, display and interpret the Hoard.
    Acquiring it for the region
  • 22.  
  • 23.
    • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery BMAG is the British Museum’s regional partner.
    • The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery PMAG in Stoke is the accredited museum for archaeological finds for Staffordshire.
    • Together they can acquire the Hoard on behalf of the nation, so that it is homed in the region.
    • This is a coup, a first and requires regional leadership for a unique situation.
    Why Stoke? Why Birmingham?
  • 24.  
  • 25.
    • Lichfield, Tamworth and Repton are acknowledged as the heartland of the Kingdom of Mercia.
    • Lichfield was the ecclesiastical centre.
    • Anglo-Saxon archaeological finds - the Lichfield Angel & St Chad Gospels.
    • Lichfield’s role in Mercia as an important Anglo Saxon community.
    • Tamworth was the seat of the military and government of Mercia.
    • Heightened significance through links with the military nature of the find.
    Why Lichfield Cathedral? Why Tamworth Castle?
  • 26.
    • Staffordshire encompasses a large percentage of Ancient Mercia.
    • The council’s community remit will help to bring the story of the hoard to communities nationwide.
    Why Staffordshire?
  • 27.
    • The five councils have joined forces to develop ‘The Mercian Trail’ which will feature displays at:
        • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
        • Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
        • Tamworth Castle
        • Lichfield Cathedral
    • The trail will also include a travelling exhibition, led by Staffordshire County Council that will take the story of the hoard, and the dig, to people across Mercia and further afield.
    Developing the Mercian Trail
  • 28.  
  • 29. How were such ornate items made in Anglo Saxon times? What trading links were established in Anglo Saxon times? How did the gold reach Britain’s shores, and how was it carried here? What links are there to Birmingham’s thriving jewellery industry today?
  • 30. What role did Staffordshire play in ancient Mercia? What was life like in Staffordshire, during Anglo Saxon times? What links are there to existing Staffordshire Anglo Saxon finds? Why did the Hoard end up in Staffordshire?
  • 31. What are the links between the Hoard and early Christendom? What does the biblical inscription tell us? What are the links to the Lichfield Angel & St Chad? What is the significance of the folded up cross and serpents? Are there any links to the St Chad Gospels?
  • 32. What are the links to Offa, and key figures of the period? What battles took place, and what role did the Hoard play? Who were the owners of the Hoard, and what wars did they fight in? What role did Tamworth play in ancient Mercia?
  • 33. How did the archaeologists extract the Hoard? Why did the Hoard get laid down in Staffordshire? How can archaeology uncover the secrets of the Hoard?
  • 34.  
  • 35.
    • A further £1.7 million is needed to fund major conservation work, academic study, and to provide a 21st century visitor experience through the Mercian Trail.
    • It could take until 2012 until the first major exhibition goes on display.
    • Understanding the story behind the artefacts – will take academics some years to unfurl.
    • Conserving the Hoard and creating replicas and 3D models is also key.
    The timeline
  • 36.  
  • 37.