Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua ~ “Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face”
An inscription carved on the back of a twisted metal crucifix possibly cleaved off a slain Saxon warriors battle shield.If ever the past reached across the centuries to speak to us about life in 7th century saxon Britain then this was it.
Wandering through the British Museum in London is a fantastic experience on any day but a recent visit left me reeling with wonder.
An announcement on the notice board near the main entrance caught my attention while visiting recently.
See the Staffordshire Hoard in room 36-7.
“It will redefine the dark ages ” say the experts.
The Hoard was discovered in a field in July 2009 by metal detectorist Terry Herbert and composed of 1500 individual items of silver and gold mostly consisting of what appear to be battle trophies,there were 84 Pommel Caps,71 Sword hilt collars and gold crucifix formations looking like shield fittings that were cleaved off along with helmet cheek pieces and personal items.
The Items date from around the 7th Century,a period when Britain was a maelstrom of tribal rivalry and religious revolution as the country went from pagan to christian beliefs.
Having seen the news and press announcing the find I was filled with anticipation as I clambered up the stairs and into the room containing a selection of the find in several glass cases just around the corner from another amazing artifact room that of the Sutton Hoo finds.
I was gobsmacked! It was stunning!!! absolutely amazing to see!!You almost have to pinch yourself to remind yourself that what you are looking at is simply the real thing from all those centuries ago inches from your nose and not some prop from a Hollywood movie.
I fully understand how Terry Herbert the metal detectorist who found it said he was dreaming for days about what he would find next.
It has been valued at 3.285 million pounds and the British museum has launched its hoard appeal to pay for it.
If you are in London grab the chance while its on show,it will enrich your sense of history and the ancient world.
The official Website is here:http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/about/
Pictures courtesy of the Staffordshire Hoard Website and Dave Rowan and Daniel Buxton.