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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
State is taking 'Viking treasure'
Viking ingot
The ingot was found by a metal detector enthusiast
The property of a Viking raider has been seized again, this time by the state.

A silver ingot and part of a brooch thought to date from the Viking era, have been declared 'treasure trove' after a court hearing.

The items, which date from the ninth century, were found in 2002 on the banks of the River Bann near Kilrea by a metal detector enthusiast.

The ruling means they are now in the hands of the state.

They are 'treasure trove' because any silver object more than 300 years old is automatically in that category.

Although the bronze brooch part would not be of the same value, because it was found alongside the ingot it means they are both likely to be historically valuable - so it was declared treasure trove too.

Cormac Burke from the Ulster Museum said the place along the river where they were discovered is a well known crossing point and the Bann was a well known thoroughfare.

He said that it does not mean there was necessarily a Viking site near by, and that the items were probably dropped.

The Vikings, when not pillaging, founded Ireland's first towns, three of which (Dublin, Waterford and Limerick) were cities by the time the Normans arrived.

The Scandinavian warriors featured in Irish life from about 800 to 1169, but failed to conquer much of Ireland because they were drawn into Irish dynastic disputes.




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