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Buried treasure is an adventurer’s dream.
It’s the stuff of pirate stories, tropical islands, and sunken ships. It often feels as though this treasure will be buried beneath a palm tree in some far-off clime. However, it may surprise you to learn just how many glittering troves have been discovered in the enchanted earth of Great Britain.
Just look at the Staffordshire Gold Hoard. Over 5,000 kilos of gold and a thousand kilos of silver were discovered by a modern-day treasure hunter with a metal detector. The precious metals had been used to create weapons and armour, and may have been buried by an 8th century king who wanted to honour his defeated foes.
In the 13th century, King John – the real-life villain of the Robin Hood legend – was notorious for seizing gold and jewels for himself. Unfortunately for him, all this treasure was lost in transit through the Lincolnshire Fens, when a tide overcame the king’s baggage train and sent the loot into the muddy waters forever. Experts are using all the best technology to track it down. They reckon it might be somewhere between King’s Lynn and Lincoln, in case you fancy trying to find it first!
Our new infographic of lost and found treasure across the UK is packed with such adventure stories. You can use it to check which burial sites are near to you – and whether they’ve yet been dug up.
British history is full of surprising nuggets. For every nugget of historical fact, there’s sure to be one of pure gold buried not far away.
If you’re a journalist interested in covering this project, we encourage you to use any of the graphics included above. When doing so, be a real treasure and attribute the authors by providing a link back to this page so your readers can learn more about this project and the related research.
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Must Farm. (2017) Homepage. mustfarm.com
Willgress, L. (2016). Britain’s biggest ever gold nugget ‘worth $50,000’ discovered near treasure-laden shipwreck in Wales. telegraph.co.uk
Britain Explorer. (2015) Top Ten Lost Treasures of the World. britainexplorer.com
Norfolk BBC. (2016) Anglo-Saxon find in Norfolk declared treasure. bbc.com
The British Museum. (2003) The Ringlemere Cup. britishmuseum.org
Oxford BBC (2016) Watlington ‘rare’ Viking hoard Declared Treasure. bbc.com
Current Archaeology. (2007) AD 700-Sutton Hoo. archaeology.co.uk
BBC News. (2009) Amateur ‘stunned’ after £1m find. bbc.co.uk
The Detectorist. (2013) Beginner Detectorist Finds Gold Roman Coins Worth £100,000. thedectorist.co.uk
Gareth Williams and Leslie Webster. (2017) The Cuerdale Hoard. bbc.co.uk
The British Museum. (2017) Snettisham Iron Age hoards. britishmuseum.org
Caroline Alexander. (2011) Staffordshire Gold Hoard. nationalgeographic.com
BBC. (2010) Coroner decides Somerset Roman coin hoard is treasure. bbc.co.uk
Staffordshire Hoard (2017). The Find. staffordshirehoard.org.uk
BBC (2015). Magna Carta: Lasers help reveal clues behind King John’s lost treasure. bbc.com
History Hunters. (2014) New to metal detecting. Historyhunters.co.uk