Experts discover ‘extraordinary’ Roman rock crystal jar in Viking-era reasure hoard

Ancient jar that may have been used to anoint Anglo-Saxon kings is found after 1,000 years underground in hoard of treasure ‘buried to hide it from Vikings’

  • Experts found ‘extraordinary’ Roman rock crystal jar in Viking-era treasure hoard found buried in Scotland  
  • Galloway Hoard has more than 100 objects including bracelets, brooches, a gold ring and a Christian cross 
  • Derek McLennan, a retired businessman and metal detectorist, found the stash at Kirkcudbrightshire in 2014
  • The jar was wrapped in delicate gold thread by the finest medieval craftsman in late 8th or early 9th century

    It was a sorry-looking object when it was unearthed in 2014 from a ploughed field in western Scotland, having been buried for almost a thousand years ago.

    Now an extraordinary treasure has emerged – a spectacular Roman rock crystal jar wrapped in the most delicate gold thread by the finest medieval craftsman in the late 8th or early 9th century.

    It was part of the Galloway Hoard, the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland, acquired by the National Museums Scotland (NMS) in 2017.

    Buried around AD900, it contained around 100 artefacts from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Ireland and as far away as Asia.

    It was unearthed by Derek McLennan, a retired businessman, who was out with his metal detector on church-owned land in Kirkcudbrightshire, southwestern Scotland.

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