Millennium-Old Viking Treasure Hoard Discovered in Scotland

Experts say the discovery of Viking gold and silver artifacts could be the most significant in Scotland’s history.

An early medieval cross, part of a hoard of Viking treasure which has been unearthed by metal-detecting enthusiast Derek McLennan in one of the most significant finds of its kind ever made in Scotland.
A silver early-medieval cross, one of the findings unearthed in the impressive treasure hoard

In September, Derek McLennan, a retired businessman, discovered 100 gold and silver items in a field with a metal detector in Dumfriesshire, southwest Scotland.  The items turned out to be Viking artifacts over a thousand years old.

Among the items discovered is a solid silver cross, presumably from the 9th or 10th century, a silver pot of western European origin, a rare silver cup from the Holy Roman Empire, a gold bird pin, and several other objects. The collection is the largest to be found in Scotland since the late 1800s and could be worth over £1,000,000.

In a statement, Scotland’s Treasure Trove unit said, “Experts have begun to examine the finds, but it is already clear that this is one of the most significant Viking hoards ever discovered in Scotland.”

The head of the unit, Stuart Campbell, added, “What makes this find so significant is the range of material from different countries and cultures. This was material that was buried for safekeeping, almost like a safety deposit box that was never claimed.”

Mr. McLennan is no novice to treasure hunting; last year, he and a friend uncovered approximately 300 medieval coins in the same area of the country.


Caerlaverock Castle in Caerlaverock, Scotland, near the site where the Viking artifacts were discovered in September 2014

For more information on the discovery, click here.