‘Significant’ Viking Brooches found on Isle of Man, But Who Owns Them?

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Two artifacts  found by metal detectorists on the Isle of Man in December of 2018 are now being called “significant” Viking brooches dating to the start of the 10th Century and could be declared treasure. If that happens, the brooches may be claimed by the Queen.

Viking brooches found on Isle of Man

The oval-shaped objects discovered by amateur treasure hunters were roughly 10 centimeters long, highly decorated and made of bronze, the BBC reported. They have since been identified as being “significant” examples of Viking brooches. Archaeologists say the artifacts date back to the beginning of the 10th Century.

Among the other artifacts that were found were a decorated glass bead and a bronze belt buckle. Following the discovery, with the permission and support of the landowner, a small archaeological excavation was performed at the site where the other artifacts were found by the metal detectorists. In the search, archaeologists found no evidence of human remains at the site.

First evidence Viking women visited Isle of Man

Allison Fox, the curator of archaeology at Manx National Heritage (MNH) called the find the “first real artifact evidence” that Viking women visited the Isle of Man. Fox said that the two brooches were “absolutely typical of this period and of adult females.”

“It was always a mystery why we hadn’t found [such artifacts] on the Isle of Man,” Fox continued. “So that’s why these two brooches are so significant.”

She added that the discovery offers a “more-rounded picture” of the Viking period on the Isle of Man.

Items could become property of the Crown

The Viking items found on the Isle of Man have been sent to York Archaeological Trust for conservation. They will be put on display at the Manx Museum when they return to the UK.

Under British law, finds of archaeological interest must be reported to MNH. Items of significance are the subject of a legal ruling by a coroner.

The items are now under consideration to be declared treasure. In the declaration of treasure occurs, the items will become the property of the Crown and will be held in trust by Manx National Heritage, while the finder would be rewarded.