Archaeologists have discovered 90 more pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard – in the same field as the original find.
The discovery was made by archaeologists working for Staffordshire Council and English Heritage when they were working on the site following the recent ploughing of the same field near Lichfield.
The discovery was revealed to the world this morning at a press conference at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, in Hanley.
It comes more than three years after the Staffordshire Hoard was found in the field by an amateur metal detectorist.
South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh will rule at an inquest on January 4 if the metalwork pieces are part of the Staffordshire Hoard and should be declared treasure.
The new finds include a possible helmet cheek piece, a cross-shaped mount and an eagle-shaped mount. The new collection is currently being examined by experts.
Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “The Staffordshire Hoard was an amazing discovery and, together with our partners, we have been immensely proud to play our part in helping to discover and tell the story of a collection of such international importance.
“The ploughing of the same field has unearthed a small number of other gold and silver finds. While it is far too early to say what exactly they are, or how old they are, they are certainly interesting finds.”
Following its discovery in July, 2009, The Staffordshire Hoard, as it became known, was valued at £3.285 million and eventually bought for the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.
The campaign to keep the Hoard on UK soil saw prominent figures from a range of different fields – including actress Dame Judy Dench, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman – queue up to lend their support.
The latest collection will be assessed by the coroner and, if it is deemed to treasure, it will be valued. Mr Atkins said it was “more than likely” that another joint fund-raising campaign would get underway to keep the treasure for the Potteries and Birmingham museums.
The Hoard – the largest collections of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found - contains more than 3,500 items of gold and silver with precious stone decorations.
But the Hoard is so much more than a collection of precious materials – it’s the legacy of craftsmen whose artistry fashioned these precious metals and gemstones into incredibly detailed sword hilt fittings, helmet parts and other items.