What would you do if you came across an amazing discovery through the use of your handy metal detector?! Well, that’s exactly what happened to one Scottish businessman. One man happened to uncover a treasure buried for so long that most couldn’t believe it when he brought over the artifacts. Now he’s rolling in the dough and you won’t believe just how rich this discovery made him!
20. Treasure Hunter
Derek McLennan is a former businessman who loves to go hunting for buried treasure. He happens to live in southwest Scotland and was out with his metal detector when he came across a discovery he never expected. It all started out in an open field when his metal detector began to go off like crazy!
19. Feeling Under The Weather
What makes the situation even more spectacular is the fact that McLennan was considering not getting out of bed that day. You see, he was feeling under the weather was considering not joining on the hunt. However, he felt obligated because he had already promised two of his friends, Rev. Dr. David Bartholomew and Mike Smith, a Pentecostal pastor, that he would go.
18. Amazing Track Record
Believe it or not, but McLennan had a pretty good track record when it comes to discovering buried treasures. Back in 2013, McLennan and his pal, Gus Paterson, came across a huge hoard of more than 300 medieval silver coins near Twynholm, Scotland. Could you ever imagine yourself coming across such an extraordinary treasure?!
17. A Signal
So the three men gathered up and got their metal detectors and started to hunt for treasures. As they were moving about on an open field that belonged to the Church of Scotland, McLennan suddenly got a signal. Everyone was super excited until they realized that it was just an old rusty spoon.
16. Rusty Spoon
However, McLennan wasn’t ready to throw away the old rusty spoon just yet! “I unearthed the first piece,” he told the BBC. “Initially I didn’t understand what I had found because I thought it was a silver spoon. And then I turned it over and wiped my thumb across it, and I saw the Saltire-type of design and knew instantly it was Viking.”
15. Crazy Discovery
Derek couldn’t believe what he had just come across. All he knew was that he had to share the discovery with anyone that would listen! “My senses exploded, I went into shock, endorphins flooded my system, and away I went stumbling towards my colleagues waving it in the air.” So what exactly did he find?
14. Buried Treasure
It seems that McLennan had stumbled across the largest collection of Viking treasure ever discovered! The treasure had been buried for around 1,000 years and it included a wide variety of items. There was gold, silver, brooches, and armbands. However, what interested McLennan’s friends most was an early medieval Christian cross.
13. Reporting The Finding
After celebrating over their discovery, the three men knew that the next step was to report their findings over to the Scottish Treasure Trove Unit. Once the Scottish unite had been informed, the area became guarded 24/7. They were intent on keeping the area untouched by anyone.
12. Spectacular Find
Stuart Campbell, who presides over the National Museum of Scotland’s Treasure Trove Unit, spoke out about how magnificent a find of this magnitude is. “Nothing like this has been found in Scotland before in terms of the range of material this hoard represents. There’s material from Ireland, from Scandinavia, from various places in central Europe and perhaps ranging over a couple of centuries.”
11. Archaeological Dig
Soon, a full-scale archaeological dig was set-up for the area. While digging around they quickly discovered that the treasure had two completely different layers. The first layer was composed of 100 precious artifacts including silver ingots, arm rings and a gold pin in the shape of a bird.
10. Lower Layer
Finally, the lower layer of the treasure deemed to be filled with an array of beautiful finds. One find in particular happened to be a large silver alloy pot with a lid. The pot was discovered wrapped up in a decayed fabric and was assumed to have been hidden somewhere during the mid-9th or 10th century.
9. Extra Examination
Experts decided that no one should attempt to open the pot without performing an X-Ray first in order to avoid damaging whatever could be inside. So the pot was brought over to the nearby Borders General Hospital where they x-rayed it. Inside, they could see that the pot held around 20 different artifacts.
8. The Artifacts
Over time, experts were able to open the top of the pot and remove the contents. Soon enough, they were able to reveal to the public what was hiding inside. It seems that the insides contained Byzantium silk, six silver Anglo-Saxon brooches and a gold ingot.
7. Price Tag
It is of course are to assume that a discovery of this kind would be entirely invaluable to archaeologists and historians as it would serve their studies better. However, what would all of this stuff be worth in today’s money? Well, current estimates have it pegged between $630,000 and $1.2 million.
For now, the treasure is being guarded safely by the Treasure Trove Unit. Together with the Office of Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer they are making sure that the artifacts are in good care. Soon, they will be put up for auction, allowing Scottish museums to bid for them. The money earned will go to the discoverers of the treasure!
5. No Clue
The biggest question that still remains is who were the Vikings that left behind this enclave of treasures? Despite having all of these artifacts at their side, historians aren’t able to pinpoint which Vikings may have left this behind. This may very well remain one of the biggest unsolved mysteries.
4. Viking Arrival
Historians are able to provide us with some timestamps on when the Vikings actually arrived in Britain. It was around 790 A.D. and they weren’t the friendliest of folks. They raided villages and pillaged them – so it was best to stay out of their way.
Soon enough, all of these amazing artifacts will be on display in a museum for all to admire and see. Viking specialist Olwyn Owen told National Geographic, “This hoard will add hugely to our understanding of Viking movements around the landscape, their interactions with other people [and] their craftsmanship.”
2. New Project
Many of the artifacts may wind up in a new museum that could be built in the former town hall of Kircudbright. The treasure was originally found near this Scottish town and so far there have been many efforts to try and raise money for the creation of this new museum.
1. One Theory
We’ll still probably never know why the treasure was buried, but McLennan does have a theory. Apparently there is an old legend in Galloway that talks about a battle between the Scots and Vikings where the Scots one. It could be possible that one Viking got away and decided to bury his treasure before running for his life!