Massive Ancient Gold Trove Likely Battle Booty

Experts compare record find to discovery of King Tut's tomb
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2009 2:43 AM CDT
Terry Herbert shows off one of his finds he discovered using a metal detector while repeating a personal incantation appealing to the "spirits of yesteryear."    (AP Photo/David Jones/PA)
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(Newser) – Experts dazzled by a record trove of ancient gold and silver unearthed in an English field believe the hoard of coins, hilts and parts of shields was war booty stripped from fallen soldiers and buried on the run. It was finally unearthed by a man with a metal detector 14 centuries later as he cited an incantation appealing to the "spirits of yesteryear." The 1,500 artifacts include exquisitely decorated crosses, pieces of armor and a strip of metal embellished with Latin appealing to God to "disperse thy enemies."

One expert has compared the find to the discovery of King Tut's tomb, and researchers say it will rewrite medieval history.  "All the archaeologists who've worked with it have been awestruck," scientist Kevin Leahy told the Independent. Proceeds from the treasure, to be sold to British museums, will be split between finder Terry Herbert, 55, and his farmer friend who owns the land. Both will be millionaires.