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27.01.2021

Watlington Hoard

The Watlington Treasure is a collection of Viking silver, drowned in 870S and rediscovered in Watlington , Oxfordshire , England in 2015.

The treasure consists of silver - 186 coins (some fragmentary), 15 ingots and 7 pieces of jewelry, including hands of rings - and scrap gold. It was buried after Alfred the Great defeated the Great Pagan army led by Guthrum in 878, forcing the Danes to retreat north. The treasure was rediscovered by James Mather, an amateur metal detectorist, in 2015 and subsequently excavated.

There were wars between the Danish and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms at the time the treasure was buried, and it is of considerable interest to historians. According to Gareth Williams, the curator of the British Museum, the coins minted by Alfred the Great and Keolwulf II "may provide important new information about the relationship between Mercia and Wessex" in the ninth century. Some of the coins show two kings seated side by side, in the style known as "Two Emperors" from Roman coins of the 4th century. These coins were meant to make a statement of political cooperation between the two men.

In February 2017, it was announced that the Ashmole Museum in Oxford had purchased the treasure for £1.35 million to keep it around, with funds from the National Lottery , the Art Fund and local donations.

UP