The Staffordshire Treasure is the largest Treasure of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found . It consists of more than 3,500 items, totaling 5.1 kg (11 lb) gold , 1.4 kg (3 lb) silver and about 3,500 pieces of cloisonné garnet jewelry.
The treasure most likely was deposited in the 7th century and contains artifacts probably made during the 6th and 7th centuries. It was discovered in 2009 in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England. The site was in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia during the siege of the Treasure in.
The Treasure has a "radical" significance in Anglo-Saxon archaeology. The artifacts are almost all of a martial nature and do not contain objects intended only for women. The average quality of the workmanship is extremely high and particularly noteworthy given the large number of individual items, such as swords and helmets, from which many of the fragments in the hoard originated.
The treasure was purchased jointly by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Pottery Museum and Art Gallery for £3.285 million under the Treasure Act 1996.
The treasure includes 3,490 metal fragments totaling 5.094 kg (11.23 pounds) of gold and 1.442 kg (3.18 pounds) of silver as well as 3,500 cloisonné garnets and is the largest treasure of Anglo-Saxon gold and gold The silver objects discovered to date eclipse, at least in number, the 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) hoard found in the Sutton Hoo ship's burial in 1939.
In addition to the three religious items, the hoard contains military items , and there are no household items, such as vessels, cutlery, or women's jewelry, which are the most common finds of Anglo-Saxon gold. The contents reportedly "show every sign of careful selection." There is broad agreement that the typical object in the hoard was created in the 7th century, with the date of placement of the hoard certainly after the date of the last object it includes.
Along with other discoveries, the study of the hoard showed that the Saxon goldsmiths were able to alter the surface of the gold by depleting the gilding to create the appearance of a higher gold content, a method not previously attributed to them. As in the case of other Anglo-Saxon jewelry, the 28 pieces of garnet probably came from Sri Lanka or Afghanistan, probably during the Roman period.