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Men jailed after unearthing $15M Viking treasure

Posted on Sunday, 24 November, 2019 | Comment icon 115 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 (115)

Tags: Viking, Gold

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #106 Posted by Sakari on 27 November, 2019, 1:30
Close. Kind of. Marvel, and the History channel have it wrong. Norse: Of, or relating to the people, language and culture of Scandinavia. Norse(Adjective) Of, or relating to the North Germanic group of languages. Norse(ProperNoun) A collective term for Scandinavian (historically Norwegian) people. Viking....Best deion I could find without typing a long reply.  
Comment icon #107 Posted by OverSword on 27 November, 2019, 8:50
Basically what I said. I didn’t click the Viking link but a more precise definition is that Viking was the name of an action. We are going viking 
Comment icon #108 Posted by hetrodoxly on 27 November, 2019, 14:18
Here's a nice coin minted by the the Viking Norse king Harald Hardrada.
Comment icon #109 Posted by OverSword on 27 November, 2019, 15:01
You got me there. However if you google Harald and google the age of the Vikings he dies and it ends in 1066. So I suppose he was the very last Viking. Thanks, did not know that.
Comment icon #110 Posted by hetrodoxly on 27 November, 2019, 15:31
Here's one of the Viking Norse king Olaf Haraldsson, the grandfather of Harald Hardrada.
Comment icon #111 Posted by Festina Lente on 28 November, 2019, 16:30
Pretty Gold Artifacts that are essentially useless — treasure?   An original copy of Manetho’s  Egyptian History or any Lost [code for intententially destroyed] historical work of the ancients  — REAL TREASURE  The punishment too great for the crime, their loss of the goods was punishment enough — eighteen years in jail funded by taxpayers — A waste of money.     
Comment icon #112 Posted by Rolci on 18 December, 2019, 21:17
Not quite. You forgot to include your sorces. Every time I go to a museum I have to pay. Interesting isn't it? Is there a secret free pass I can apply for? Please can you direct me to the website?
Comment icon #113 Posted by rashore on 18 December, 2019, 21:23
Living in New Zealand, how often do you visit museums in the UK?  
Comment icon #114 Posted by hetrodoxly on 18 December, 2019, 22:43
What Museums have you had to pay to enter?
Comment icon #115 Posted by rashore on 18 December, 2019, 23:04
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.

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