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Hoard (Silver)

Site Name Skaill

Classification Hoard (Silver)

Canmore ID 1666

Site Number HY21NW 14

NGR HY 2369 1962

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Sandwick
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY21NW 14 2369 1962.

(HY 2369 1962) Brooches Bracelets & Ancient Coins found A.D. 1858 (NAT)

OS 6" map, Orkney, 2nd ed., (1903).

A hoard of Viking silver, accompanied by coins which date its deposition to not earlier than the mid-10th century, was found in a sand-hill in March 1858. The porportional content of personal ornaments was exceptionally high, but the hoard also included ring, money, silver ingots and numerous fragments of ornaments which had been deliberately cut into small pieces, as well as two Anglo-Saxon coins (one of which was datable to c. 925), four coins of the Abbaside Caliphs datable to 887- 945 and many fragments of Cufic coins.

The greater part of the hoard is in the National Museum of Antquities of Scotland (IL 1-113) but the Hunterian Museum holds two pieces.

S Grieg 1940; RCAHMS 1946.

No further information.

Visited by OS (AA) 21 May 1967.


Orkney Smr Note

Great hoard of silver objects found at Skaill, Sandwick.

Detailed description given. [R1]

Early in 1858 a very remarkable hoard of silver ornaments,

coins,etc. of the Viking period, weighing 16 pounds, was found to

consist of at least nine large penannular brooches, fourteen

twisted neck rings and arm rings, twenty-three solid armlets of

penannular form, eleven ingots and bars of silver, and numerous

fragments of other ornaments, which had been cut into small

pieces. None of the hoards of this character found in the

Scandanavian countries contains such a large number of personal

ornaments. Along with these ornaments there were three

Anglo Saxon and seven Cufic coins, the latest of which was struck

at Bagdad in A.D.945, and consequently fixes the earliest date by

which the deposit can have been made. Most of the hoard is now in

the National Museum; it has frequently been described in whole or

in part. [R2]

It is argued that two Viking-age silvers objects, a complete

single pin and an elaborately ornamented pin head, recently

purchased by the National Museum, derive from the 1858 Skaill

(Orkney) hoard... [R3]

Recent excavations have been conducted on the mound of Snusgar where the hoard is believed to have been found. See DSR of excavation.

Information from Orkney SMR [n.d.]


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