Today there has been an announcement of the biggest Saxon find since Sutton Hoo in 1900.
The Sutton Hoo discovery was considered something of a massive contribution to the archeaology of the Saxon period in England. Saxon finds are so difficult to come across that much of what they were and who they were has been obscured in history.
Unlike the Romans before them and the medieval period after there is not a lot of stone or pottery to be found, these are some of the key ingredients for discoveries as the Saxons generally did not use a lot of pottery, and what they did use was apparently not that nice. As well most of their houses were built of wood so other than a few post holes you do not find much other than a rubbish pit to really know what is going on.
So discoveries like these are rare and important finds of historic proportion.
The BBC article shows a gold strip that was engraved in Latin quoting Psalms 67: “Rise up O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face.”
A key in finds like these is metal detectorists. Using this equipment gives non archaeologists a chance to make some amazing discoveries. The professional community is leery of them as they do have a tendancy to sell their finds to the highest bidder which means they can see some important pieces never make it to a museum.
As well there is a huge issue because detectorists are not always keen to consider the strategraphy of finds to keep the evidence of where they were found and how they got there.
Nonetheless they serve an important function as these volunteers find loads of things that professionals simply do not have the time or resources to accomplish.
Either way an interesting discovery.
See also this additional article.