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A viking treasure – well recognized by the heritage authorities of the Isle of Man – has been discovered by Kath Giles, a retired police officer and hobbyist. metal detectors, on a private estate. The “impressive” set, found at the end of last year, consists of an unusual gold bracelet, a large silver clasp, a bracelet of the same material and more associated elements. Experts believe that the pieces were buried around the year 950.

“I knew immediately that it was an important and exciting find. I am very happy to have found objects of such relevance and so beautiful,” said the architect of the discovery. Kath Giles contacted him Manx National Heritage to report on the pieces found and a team of researchers traveled to the place to check if there were more things underground. All the objects have been declared “treasure” and will soon be exhibited in the main museum of the island.

The bracelet is made of three gold braided rods, the ends of which merge into a flat diamond-shaped band that has been decorated with a dot pattern. “It is a rare find”said Allison Fox, an archaeologist at Manx National Heritage. “Gold pieces were not very common during the Viking Age. Silver was the most common metal for trading and displaying wealth. It is estimated that gold was worth ten times that of silver and that this bracelet could have been the equivalent to 900 silver coins “.

The huge brooch, with a ring 20 centimeters in diameter, would have been used to hold heavy clothing, such as a cape, and symbol of the high status of its owner. It is also one of the largest of this type documented to date, according to experts.

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Whole and carved pieces of gold and silver jewelry from the Viking age have previously been discovered on the island. Most of these lots respond to the premise of deliberate concealment, presumably buried during a time of threat, with the intention of the original owner to recover the artifacts at a later stage.

“The bracelet, brooch and cut cuff are all high status personal adornments and represent a large amount of accumulated wealth. It would be important to find only one of these elements, “Allison Fox explained.” The fact that they were all found together, associated with a single deposition event, suggests that who buried them was extremely rich and he probably felt immediately and acutely threatened. “

Kath Giles and Allison Felix with the Viking treasure.


The two most important objects in the set, the bracelet and the brooch, are the first of their kind to be found on the Isle of Man and contribute significantly to the image of the wealth that circulated on the site and around the Irish Sea area. over a thousand years ago.

“The Vikings came to the Isle of Man around 800, first trading and finally settling. The ‘Kath Giles treasure’ can be dated for comparative and stylistic reasons to around 950, a time when the Isle of Man was right in the middle of an important commercial and economic zone“added the archaeologist.” But in other parts of the east and west, Viking rule was coming to an end and perhaps this encouraged further Viking settlement on the island. The Norse influence here was strong for another three hundred years, long after much of the rest of the British Isles. “

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