Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England’s Dark Ages

  • Date
    October 29, 2011 – March 4, 2012 (except for December 25, 2012)
  • Time 10:00 a.m.
  • Location Washington, D.C.
  • Price Exhibition included in Museum Admission; Adults - $8; Members/Military/Seniors (over 62)/Students/Groups (25+) - $6; Children (ages 5-12) - $4; School & youth groups (18 and under) - Free (for info on how to reserve a trip follow the Group Sales link below)

Past Event

Photo: Sword hilt fitting
Gold hilt fitting with intricate garnet decoration (1 1/2 in. x 7/10 in.)
Photo: Close-up portion of folded cross

Zoomorphic designs appear on a cross that was folded up and buried for unknown reasons.

Don’t miss the only U.S. appearance of the Anglo-Saxon Hoard!

On July 5th 2009, Terry Herbert, a metal detector enthusiast, discovered the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. From farmland near Lichfield in Staffordshire, England, Terry and a team of archaeologists unearthed more than 3,500 pieces from hundreds of individual objects dating to about 650 A.D. Valued at close to $5 million, the hoard includes exquisitely crafted artifacts, most of which are military in nature.

More than 100 of these artifacts will be on exhibition at the National Geographic Museum including elaborate gold and garnet sword fittings, decorative elements for helmets, crosses, and a gold strip bearing a Latin inscription from the Bible.

Explore the history behind the gold hoard as you travel back in time thirteen hundred years to Mercia, one of the most powerful and aggressive kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon era. Although it may never be known who buried the hoard or why, the gold treasures offer clues about warfare, the spread of Christianity, and Saxon craftsmanship.

Learn more about the find and ongoing conservation work on the U.K. website The Staffordshire Hoard.

Exhibition Events & Activities

Family Archaeology Backpack
Do you have what it takes to be a National Geographic explorer? Check out one of our Family Archaeology backpacks to find out. Designed for children of all ages, each group will get their own educational “field guide” and backpack loaded with everything needed to explore the exhibition by looking, moving, touching, and doing.

Drop-in Program: Build Your Own Helmet
Ever wonder how archaeologists are able to determine the use of an object from hundreds of years ago? Join National Geographic staff to explore the history of medieval archaeological finds and piece together your own helmet similar to those worn by Anglo-Saxon warriors.
Daily at 2 p.m.
Free with museum admission

Guided Tours
Mondays at 11 a.m.
Free with museum admission

The following workshops are free and begin at 1 p.m, unless noted otherwise.

Sunday, March 4: Dig Deeper: A How-to for Junior Archaeologists
Registration is now full.

Most workshops require advanced registration required. Please email NatGeoMuseum[at]ngs.org to register.

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