The British Museum has announced the discovery of a
hugely significant hoard of silver artefacts in
Buried in a lead container 1,100 years ago, it
includes 27 silver coins from Britain’s Anglo-Saxon and Viking eras.
One coin is of a type that none of the
Museum’s experts has seen before.
“One side of it reads DNS (Dominus) REX, the
letters arranged in the form of a cross (many Vikings had converted to
Christianity within a generation of settling in Britain),” Ian
Richardson, Portable Antiquities and Treasure, wrote on the Museum’s blog.
A previously unrecorded coin type, probably carrying
the name of an otherwise unknown Viking ruler in northern England.
“On the other side, the inscription reads
AIRDECONUT, which appears to be an attempt to represent the Scandinavian name
Harthacnut, a ruler not previously known.”
The hoard was discovered by a metal detector
enthusiast. It follows a similar find in April of a 10th century
hoard comprising 92 silver coins in nearby Cumbria.