Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bishop's seal found

Bishop's Seal Found
Bishop's Seal
A 14th century Bishop's seal discovered by metal detector enthusiasts will go on display at the Manx Museum for the first time on Saturday. The silver seal, which was discovered by Andy Falconer, is described by historians at Manx National Heritage as "incredibly significant".
Curator of archaeology at MNH, Allison Fox, said: "It is a very rare find and an important part of Manx history." The find was made in a field in the north of the island in February.
Andy Falconer made the "once in a life time discovery" when out searching with fellow treasure hunter Rob Farrer. The 47-year-old said: "I had no idea what it was at first but when I showed Rob his eyes lit-up."
Mr. Farrer, 59, a metal detector for 30 years, said: "I couldn't believe it. I honestly think it is the most important object to be found in the Isle of Man this century and certainly the only one of its kind."
Treasure trove
Mr. Falconer took his discovery to the Manx Museum in Douglas, where the Coroner of Inquests was informed. According to Manx National Heritage more research needs to be done before the treasure trove process is completed.
Treasure trove is an ancient law which allows the British Crown to claim an item of value if the owner cannot be traced. Mr Falconer said: "I've found a few coins over the years but this is by far my most important discovery and I am over the moon that it is going on display.
"It's been my ambition to find something that will change history." The seal itself is about three centimeters in length, made of silver, and shows two figures sitting facing out and a third kneeling in prayer.
Around the edge there is an inscription in Latin, which translates as "Let the prayers to God of Germans and Patricians help us".
Rare find
Ms Fox said: "Saints were very important people for the whole island. The Bishop's seal is described as "incredibly significant" by Manx National Heritage. "The Isle of Man has lots of artifacts from the Viking period and a few hundred years after but a find from this period is rare.
"Most of our information for this period comes from manuscripts rather than artifacts." The seal will star in the Manx National Heritage's Forgotten Kingdom exhibition, which runs until March.
The exhibition will explore the Kingdom of Man and the Isles from 1000 AD - 1300 AD. As well as the Bishop's seal the exhibition will include the Chronicles of Man, a 13th Century manuscript described as the Isle of Man's first story book, and the Lewis Chessmen.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

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