While most people are probably satisfied to get a good deal on a burger during their lunch break, a northern England man scored the find of a lifetime: a buried Viking treasure! According to a Daily Mail article, Darren Webster, an amateur metal detector enthusiast, was enjoying his favorite hobby on his lunch break when he made the startling find.
“When I lifted the lead pot out of the ground, there was a hole underneath and silver started to fall out. That is when I realized I had found something important.”
“Important” might be the understatement of the century. Buried about 18 inches below the surface, in a field on the outskirts of Silverdale, a village near the coast in north Lancashire, Webster recovered what is possibly the most significant Viking hoard to be found this century. The lead box contained over 200 pieces of silver. Of most significance was an unknown type of coin bearing the name of what is believed to be an unknown Viking king. You can see the relics pictured below.
The Viking king’s name is Airdeconut, which is thought to represent the Scandinavian name Harthacnut. The Viking hoard was probably buried somewhere around AD900, which was a tumultuous time of war between the Viking kings of Northern England. The fact that it remained buried indicates that the warrior probably didn’t survive his conquest.
Another significant revelation came from the coin bearing the inscription “DNS REX” on one side, which means “the Lord and King”. It was written in the shape of the cross indicating that this king was a Christian. This find serves to dispel the myth that the vikings attacked monasteries out of hatred for the Christian church.
The treasure will go through an inquest next week to determine its value. It is estimated to be worth more than £500,000. Webster and the land owner will split the money. Currently the Museum of Lancashire is working to get the funds to buy the treasure.
For more information you can read the Daily Mail’s article here.