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Enthusiast With a Metal Detector Unearths ‘One of the Most Significant Viking Hoards Ever Discovered’


"My senses exploded."

The Vikings were well-known as plunderers and recently some of their bounty was unearthed by an enthusiast with a metal detector in Scotland.

The more than 1,000-year-old hoard revealed up to 100 gold and silver objects under the soil of a Dumfriesshire field.

"Experts have begun to examine the finds, but it is already clear that this is one of the most significant Viking hoards ever discovered in Scotland," Scotland's Treasure Trove said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"The Vikings were well known for having raided these shores in the past, but today we can appreciate what they have left behind," Fiona Hyslop, the country's secretary for cultural and external affairs, added.

Derek McLennan, who made the discovery, told BBC that he didn't realize what he found at first, thinking it far less valuable than it actually was.

"I unearthed the first piece, 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," he told the news company. "Then my senses exploded, I went into shock, endorphins flooded my system and away I went stumbling towards my colleagues waving it in the air."

This isn't McLennan's first major discovery either. According to BBC, he also found the country's biggest cache of medieval coins last year.

"[...] I'm a bit of an obsessive," he admitted.

In addition to the monetary value of the items found, Hyslop told BBC the discovery "opens a fascinating window on a formative period in the story of Scotland and just goes to show how important our archaeological heritage in Scotland continues to be."

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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