Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010
The Kirk Michael Hoard of Viking Treasure
Viking Longship

The Vikings raided and traded all over the world using coins, silver and gold.

For treasure of this calibre to be found on the Isle of Man indicates that this area was an important trading centre even then.

The hoard illustrates how our small island acted as a "clearing house" for deals in goods and wealth.

The Kirk Michael Hoard is important because it contains coins from all over the world putting the Island at the centre of the Viking trading routes.

The items contained in the hoard were buried for safekeeping, by a Viking who never returned.

Whether the wealth of the hoard was the result of trade in grain, wool or slaves is unknown, but it was a universal currency - coins and precious metal.

Even then, the Isle of Man was a finance centre of sorts
Curator, Allison Fox

Allison Fox Curator from Manx National Heritage said the Isle of man is rich in this sort of material but this particular find stands head and shoulders above others.

"There are coins here from England and Ireland which date back to around 900 AD, there are also Norman coins which were coming in from the continent of Europe.

"The most interesting thing is that this hoard contains the first Manx coins.

"This is the first example we have of the Manx doing it for themselves! You can identify the Manx coins by picking out the subtle differences in the design".

Owning a hoard like this would have been a way of showing off wealth. It tells us that the Isle of Man would have been an important trading centre for the Vikings, said Allison Fox.

"Even then the Isle of Man was a finance centre of sorts".

The Kirk Michael Hoard is on display at the Manx Museum in Douglas.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific