Alert reader John sent me a link to this article. Thanks again, John!
This past July, amateur treasure hunter Terry Herbert uncovered the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found to date, estimated to be worth over 1 million GBP! Which is over $1.5 million in real money!
"The article itself is cool, but one line really grabbed me:
'The hoard was reported to the local officer of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and on 24 September 2009 was declared treasure by the South Staffordshire coroner.'
The coroner?! What the what?!? Why not the undertaker? Or the baker? Seriously. Those kooky Brits."
It does give one pause. Maybe they figured that he rifles through the dead's possessions enough that he was one most likely to be able to discern the crap from the good stuff?
Another thing to ponder: They found over 1500 pieces of armor and weaponry in about 20 square meters, with "no traces of any graves, buildings, or other structures have been found." How did they all end up there? A big giant battle, followed by a big giant pile of dead bodies that nobody bothered to clean up? A big giant barracks where everyone decided to become pacifist hippies one day and left all their swag behind? A big giant something else?