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Englishman Finds Buried, Anglo Saxon Treasure

In September 2009, British archeologists announced that an amateur treasure hunter in England had made what is probably the most significant discovery of buried Anglo-Saxon treasure in English history. The discovery was made on July 5, 2009, by a 55-year-old Englishman named Terry Herbert, who had used a metal detector to search the farmland of a friend for metal objects. What he found was a buried cache of 1,345 gold and silver objects that date back to the seventh century A.D.

The objects were created by metalworkers of the Anglo Saxon tribes that dominated England during this period. Archaeologist Kevin Leahy, who catalogued the find, said, "The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship is consummate. This was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good."

For treasure hunter Terry Herbert, the discovery was of course thrilling—"more fun than winning the lottery," he said. After the initial discovery on July 5th, he spent the next five days combing through the rest of the farmland. Herbert says, "Imagine you're at home and somebody keeps putting money through your letterbox; that was what it was like. I was going to bed, and in my sleep I was seeing gold items."

He soon notified professional archaeologists. One expert likened his discovery to finding Tutankhamen's tomb. Herbert says, "I just flushed all over when he said that. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up."

Herbert will profit handsomely from his find, which will be sold to a museum. The proceeds will be split 50-50 between Herbert and his friend who owns the farmland. Archaeologist Roger Bland, who managed the cache's excavation, estimated that Herbert could be looking at a seven-figure sum of money from the sale.

Bland also said, "I think wealth of this kind must have belonged to a king."

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