This week, a hoard of 87 Viking silver coins, 13 pieces of cut, silver arm-rings or “hack silver” and associated artefacts was declared Treasure by the Isle of Man Coroner of Inquests. It was unearthed by Kath Giles in April 2021 and is her fourth significant discovery since taking up metal detecting only three years ago. Kath’s previous hoard find made the news in February – see Detecting in the News, February.
The coins are generally silver pennies, mostly minted in England, Dublin, Germany and the Isle of Man. The cut, or hack-silver pieces found with the coins are part of a flexible system of payment, where the value depended on the weight and purity of silver.
This video, produced by Manx National Heritage, shows Kath and Allison Fox, Curator for Archaeology at Manx National Heritage examining the find.
The date of deposition of the latest hoard can be dated fairly closely due to the coin content to around AD 1035. This is the later era of Viking Age precious metal hoard deposition, as the practice only really lasted for a further forty years or so, with the earliest hoards dating to the AD 950s. The hoard will go on display in the new Viking Gallery at the Manx Museum from Thursday 14 July, prior to travelling off island for review by the Treasure Valuation Committee.