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Amateur uncovers a treasure

September 25, 2009|Times Wire Reports

An amateur treasure hunter prowling English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found, a massive 7th century hoard of gold and silver sword decorations, crosses and other items, British archaeologists said.

One expert said the treasure found by Terry Herbert, 55, would revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the 5th century until the Norman conquest in 1066.

About 1,345 items have been examined and X-rays have shown that 56 lumps of earth contain metal artifacts, meaning the total will probably rise to about 1,500.

Most of the objects are ornaments for weapons and other military artifacts, some inlaid with precious stones.

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