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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 15:07 GMT
Top ten treasures announced
The Hoxne pepper pot, the Sutton Hoo helmet and the Great Dish. Copywright: The British Museum
Some of the treasures at the British Museum
East Anglia has provided many of the finest treasures found in the UK - but Northumberland takes the top spot, according to experts.

A top ten of treasures of the British Museum includes three found in Suffolk and one found in Norfolk.

But the Anglo-Saxon hoard found at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, was beaten into second place by the Roman Vindolanda tablets found in Northumberland.

Experts voted on their favourite treasure in a special edition of BBC Two's Meet the Ancestors programme.

Top Ten Treasures
1. Vindolanda Tablets, Northumberland
2. Sutton Hoo ship burial, Suffolk
3. Hoxne Hoard, Suffolk
4. Snettisham Hoard, Norfolk
5. Lewis Chessmen
6. Mold Gold Cape, north Wales
7. Mildenhall Treasure, Suffolk
8. Fishpool Hoard, Lancashire
9. Cuerdale Hoard, Lancashire
10. The Ringlemere and Rillaton Cups, Kent
Other hoards in the list included the Hoxne Roman treasure and the Mildenhall Treasure, both found in Suffolk, and the Snettisham Hoard found in Norfolk.

A panel of five experts from the British Museum decided on the order of the top ten.

The Vindolanda Tablets were found by archaeologist Robin Birley near Hadrian's Wall, in Northumberland in 1975.

In all, there are more than 400 tablets - postcard-sized slivers of wood on which notes and letters were written in ink.

Evidence at the site dated the tablets to the first century AD, making them one of the earliest written records ever found in Britain.

The Anglo-Saxon burial site at Sutton Hoo was discovered just before the start of World War II.

Great Dish

At the centre of the burial site archaeologists found an entire Anglo-Saxon ship buried in a mound and containing the most highly-crafted swords, shield, belt and buckles - all made in gold and many intricately inlaid with garnets.

It also contained a helmet.

The Mildenhall Treasure consists of a set of Roman tableware, including the Great Dish with engravings showing pagan gods.

The Hoxne Treasure consists of jewellery, precious tableware and toilet instruments, along with 15,000 gold, silver and bronze coins.

The Snettisham Treasure includes coins, ingots and torcs (heavy silver and gold neck rings).

The Meet the Ancestors programme was broadcast on Wednesday night.


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31 Dec 02 | England
04 Dec 02 | England
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