A hoard of Viking treasure has been unearthed by a metal-detecting enthusiast in what has been described as ‘one of the most significant finds of its kind ever made in Scotland’.
The treasure is on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh at the Vikings exhibition, which runs until May.
The hoard includes a solid silver cross thought to date from the 9th or 10th century. It also boasts possibly the largest silver pot ever discovered, with its lid still in place.
Detectorist Derek said: “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 it was Viking.
“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.”
Stuart Campbell, National Museum of Scotland’s head of Scotland’s treasure trove unit, said: “Nothing like this has been found in Scotland before in terms of the range of material this hoard represents.
“There’s material from Ireland, from Scandinavia, from various places in central Europe and perhaps ranging over a couple of centuries.”
Derek, from Ayrshire, last year uncovered Scotland’s biggest haul of medieval silver coins.