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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 14:02 GMT
'High status' Viking site found
Viking merchant's weight
A 10th Century Viking merchant's weight has been recovered
Archaeologists in Cumbria say they have discovered what could be the country's most important Viking burial site.

Experts are so excited about the find and its wealth of treasures, they are keeping its location a secret so they can work undisturbed.

All that has been revealed is that it is near Barrow and contains artefacts dating back to the 10th Century.

Another burial site has been uncovered in Cumbria, close to Cumwhitton village, near Carlisle.

Both sites were found by metal detector enthusiasts.

Barrow archaeologist, Steve Dickinson, who has been involved in the dig, said experts were particularly excited about a merchant's weight, which is the size of a finger and shows a dragon design with two figures.

Local craftsmanship

He said: "Normally such weights are plain lead with perhaps just a bit of inlaid metal, so this is definitely something to impress people.

"It is an example of local craftsmanship and represents an extraordinarily rich burial.

"The weight is currently with the British Museum for conservation.

"We do not want to be cagey about the site and raise people's expectations too high, but all the indications are that this is a high status burial site."

Archaeologists spent months last summer excavating the Cumwhitton site, which yielded swords, jewellery and riding equipment.




SEE ALSO:
'Amazing' Viking cemetary found
07 Sep 04 |  Cumbria
Treasure may be key Viking burial
17 Feb 04 |  North Yorkshire


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