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Midlands museums face Vatican battle for Staffordshire Hoard

December 22, 2009

IT has been described as the “stuff of dreams”. It brought one archaeologist to tears at the very sight of it.

But the awe-inspiring Staffordshire Hoard, one of the most important discoveries of Anglo-Saxon treasure in British history, may be whisked away by the Vatican.

That is the fear of experts who believe the haul of 1,500 artefacts, made of gold and silver and decorated with precious stones, could be the lost treasure of King Edwin, a seventh century Christian monarch.

Edwin ruled Northumbria from about 616 AD until his death in 633 AD.

At the time of his death, he was one of the most powerful Kings in Saxon England and had also conquered large parts of the ancient Mercian kingdom.

And it is here that the £3.3 million hoard was discovered in a field almost 1,370 years later.

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