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Glenfaba Hoard

Date made: deposited c.1030

Description: The Glenfaba Hoard was found in 2003 by metal detectorist Andrew Whewell. He discovered 464 silver coins, 25 silver ingots and 1 silver armlet. The hoard was probably buried around AD 1035 and is evidence of the Island’s importance as a trade route in Norse times. Originally buried in the ground for safe-keeping, the owner never returned to reclaim their treasure.

The coins date from AD 978 - 1035. There were fragments of a lead container buried with the coins, which may have helped keep them in such good condition - they look as good 1000 years after they were buried as when they were first hidden away. The range of objects contained within the Glenfaba Hoard tells us much about Viking life at the start of the millenium. There are coins that were minted in England and Dublin but could be spent anywhere within the Viking lands. The ingots could have been exchanged directly for goods. The broken armlet was probably destined to be melted down as scrap silver and re-made into either coins or ingots. The hoard therefore shows different types of currency that could be used to purchase goods and a hoard this size would most likely have been the produce of a succesful trade encounter or two.

Materials: silver

Date found: 25 March 2003

Object name: armlet; coin; ingot

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 2004-0123


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