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Ancient Mysteries

Men jailed after unearthing $15M Viking treasure

November 24, 2019 | Comment icon 124 comments

The treasure had been buried by a viking warrior. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Wolfmann
Two metal detectorists in the UK have been jailed after trying to sell a $15M Viking hoard of gold and silver.
Layton Davies and George Powell had been out with their metal detectors looking for buried valuables on local farmland when they came across the hoard near Leominster back in June 2015.

The remarkable discovery included Anglo-Saxon coins, silver ingots and items of jewellery such as a ring, an arm bracelet and a crystal ball worn as a pendant - all dating back to between 400 - 800 AD.

It is believed that the treasure had been buried by a Viking warrior over 1,000 years ago.

Unfortunately however, instead of declaring the find (for which they would have received a hefty sum), the two men decided to keep the treasure a secret and instead try to sell off the items themselves.
They were eventually caught, however some of the items remain unaccounted for.

"You cheated the farmer, his mother, the landowner and also the public when you committed theft of these items," Judge Nicholas Cartwright told them during their trial. "That is because the treasure belongs to the nation. The benefit to the nation is these items can be seen and admired by others."

"Stealing the items as you did denies the public the opportunity of seeing those items in the way they should be displayed. When treasure is found it belongs, from the moment of finding, to the nation."

Powell was sentenced to 10 years in prison while Davies was sentenced to 8-and-a-half years.

"I hope this trial demonstrates to the metal detecting community we take this sort of crime very seriously," said local police commander Supt Sue Thomas.

"It is a criminal offence to not declare finds of treasure to the local coroner's office."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (124)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #115 Posted by rashore 3 years ago
I'm not in the UK or NZ.. U.S. is a mixed bag of free or not museums. A lot of the bigger ones charge some fees/tickets.. and can depend on where or if one is a resident. A lot of smaller and more local ones are free and depend on donations and/or local taxes rather than charging an admission. A lot have a bit of something you can buy for a keepsake if you like.
Comment icon #116 Posted by Inn Spectre 2 years ago
"It is a criminal offence to not declare finds of treasure to the local coroner's office." To any educated person, that sentence is criminal. †
Comment icon #117 Posted by Desertrat56 2 years ago
Coronor means something different in the UK.† The US only uses a coronor for death cases, except in some remote areas.
Comment icon #118 Posted by quiXilver 2 years ago
I'm curious... † How does this treasure law, work with all the treasure Brits dug up in Egypt and around the world? † ?
Comment icon #119 Posted by hetrodoxly 2 years ago
The law didn't exist then, you can imagine what treasures disappeared here and in Egypt and still do before laws were put in place.†
Comment icon #120 Posted by quiXilver 2 years ago
Yea I know.† I was being Facetious. So many of those treasures in the Brit museums are the cultural history of the 'appropriated colonies'. I find it nauseating to enter museums with such 'collections'.
Comment icon #121 Posted by hetrodoxly 2 years ago
Different times, some saw it as away of saving historical objects, why do you single out British museums? what about Americans in Egypt and American museums? there's few museums you can enter without feeling†sick, thought i had a pizza type slice in the British museum a couple of months ago and felt a bit nauseous.†
Comment icon #122 Posted by jaylemurph 2 years ago
The biggest, most powerful nations-state at the time probably took more than their fair†share... I know a few Greek folk with strong views on the matter.† óJaylemurph†
Comment icon #123 Posted by hetrodoxly 2 years ago
The permutations are endless, if Napoleon hadn't been defeated it would have been France the same with Germany, if Carter hadn't persisted Tuts gold could have been found by grave robbers and melted down, the Parthenon was a blown up ruin, the Turks had turned it into a mosque and then an ammunitions†dump that was blown up.
Comment icon #124 Posted by jaylemurph 2 years ago
The strong stole from the weak. I guess if you need to parse it differently, you can, but /someone/ did the stealing, and should be held responsible for their actualities, not†possibilities.† My two cents, anyway. óJaylemurph†

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