From swords to seaxes, over 100 fittings representing the finest in Anglo Saxon craftmanship go on display in Bristol.
Unearthed in Lichfield in 2009 by a local metal detectorist, the Staffordshire Hoard is the most valuable treasure ever discovered on British soil and by far the largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold recorded (over 5kg).
Its location places it in the ancient Kingdom of Mercia, one of Britain’s largest and most aggressive regions that stretched from Humber to London. Because there were no 'feminine' items – such as dress fittings, brooches or pendants – and various objects appear to have been ripped from others, it is believed these treasures were seized in battle.
The display in Bristol draws out some of the hoard's key pieces in order to explore the lives of the warriors and kings who ruled Mercia. For example, an intricately decorated sword is reveals the status, wealth, and even religious beliefs of its former owner.
Art Fund led the successful campaign to acquire the hoard for the West Midlands in 2009. It is now touring the UK.