Thursday, November 05, 2015

Hoard of 5000 Anglo-Saxon Coins Found

I thought of titling this post “Maybe I Should Buy Some English Land.”  For these hoards of old coins are still being found in England 1000 years and more after the fact.  However, this latest 5000 coin find is exceptional.

The reason these caches are still being found is there were so many of them in Early Medieval England.  There were few reliable ways to store one’s wealth back then.  (I’ll leave aside the question of whether that is still the case.)  So it was common practice to simply bury wealth, particularly coins. 

And it frequently happened that buried hoards were never revisited.  A soldier buried his coins before marching off to war, and never returned.  A family fleeing before Vikings, buried what wealth they felt was not practical or safe to take with them, but never returned to their cache.  Perhaps their flight was unsuccessful; or they never felt it safe enough to retrieve their cache; or they just never got around to it.  Thieves understandably concealed their ill-gotten gain, and then received harsh and final justice in an attempt to add to it. 

And have you ever lost something very important to you?  That was a problem back then as well.

So no telling how many early medieval coin hoards still lie hidden in England.

Maybe I really should go buy some English land….

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