Researchers in Scotland have moved to study and analyse a trove of artefacts dating back to the Viking era, with the help of a sizeable £1 million grant, The Guardian reports.
According to the newspaper, the artefacts in question are known collectively as the Galloway Hoard; originally discovered in September 2014 "in a field in Dumfries and Galloway", the trove had since been acquired by the National Museums Scotland (NMS).
As per the "Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard" project, conducted by the NMS in partnership with the University of Glasgow, researchers intend to examine the artefacts "in detail".
The trove reportedly includes "an unparalleled range of precious metal and jewelled items, including a rare gold ingot, a unique gold bird-shaped pin and a decorated silver-gilt vessel" which contained "beads, amulets of glass and rock crystal, a silver penannular brooch and five Anglo-Saxon disc brooches not previously found in Scotland".
As Martin Goldberg, principal curator of medieval archaeology and history at NMS, explained, while "most hoards are usually interpreted as buried wealth, with the focus on events surrounding the moment of burial", the Galloway Hoard "challenges this view", presenting "a rare opportunity to ask in much more detail about how, and why, people assembled and collected hoards during the Viking age".
"We’ve already discovered a great deal through conservation work, and people will be able to see that in the forthcoming exhibition. However, this research project will enable us to go much further using scientific techniques and international collaboration," he said.
While "Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard" is a three-year project, the artefacts are expected to go on display as part of an exhibition "next year", the newspaper adds.