Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Buried in the English countryside. Anglo-Saxon in origin. Who hid it and why?

Magical Mystery Treasure


Karl said...

Hmmm... interesting find.

I would say it was someones personal horde or "saivings", the word "bank" as we use it today to mean a place to hold our wealth, comes from this period of history, since you quite literally buried your wealth in the "bank" or ground... hence the modern meaning.



Le Loup said...

Thanks Karl, I didn't know that about the term Bank.
Items from the past always interest me regardless of the period, because it is often linked to our past in some way. One will occasionally read a piece of fiction where someone owned or carried a relic or artifact from another time. This is more than feasable and it can add that personal touch to someone's persona.

elmo iscariot said...

When I first heard of the Staffordshire Hoard, it made me think of hacksilver, a kind of expedient bullion used by populations with little currency but large amounts of silver objects.

It's historically interesting, but also heartbreaking: some hacksilver was previously beautiful metalwork--some of it from ancient Rome--before it was hammered flat and chopped up to buy a horse with.

Le Loup said...

I didn't know that either Elmo! Thank you.

elmo iscariot said...

Fascinating, right? I recall reading that some hacksilver was cut to standardized weights (and smaller pieces twisted together to bring them up to weight) but it must not always have been so, as some period documents show that even the silver's owner might not know how much money he had until he weighed it.

This is from the Icelandic Laxdaela saga, telling a story from the tenth century:

"How much would you want for this woman if I decided to buy her?" asked Hoskuld. "She would cost you three marks of silver," answered Gilli [the Russian merchant].

"I would say you're charging rather a high price for this servant," said Hoskuld. "You could get three for that price."

"You're right," answered Gilli, "I do value her more highly than the rest. Choose one of the eleven others and you can have her for a mark of silver; I'll hold on to this one."

"First I'll have to figure out how much silver I have in this purse at my belt," said Hoskuld. He asked Gilli to fetch his scales while he looked into his purse.
Gilli did so; he weighed the silver and the weight came to three marks.

Then we've got a deal," said Hoskuld.

Le Loup said...

Excellent Elmo! Thank you.

elmo iscariot said...

You're quite welcome. I'm just pleased to have had the book at hand when the subject came up.