Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: War, Treasure, and the Mystery of the Saxons

Overview

In July 2009 an amateur metal-detecting enthusiast made an astonishing find: 1500 pieces of bejeweled gold and silver almost 1500 years old, buried, lost, then forgotten. The treasure trove promises to shed unprecedented light on the most mysterious period of British history—the so-called "Dark Ages"—when the Saxons, Anglos, Celts, Picts, Jutes, and Vikings battled for control of the British Isles and a "mish mash of peoples evolved into a homogenous nation possessed with a strong cultural identity," according to...
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Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: War, Treasure, and the Mystery of the Saxons

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Overview

In July 2009 an amateur metal-detecting enthusiast made an astonishing find: 1500 pieces of bejeweled gold and silver almost 1500 years old, buried, lost, then forgotten. The treasure trove promises to shed unprecedented light on the most mysterious period of British history—the so-called "Dark Ages"—when the Saxons, Anglos, Celts, Picts, Jutes, and Vikings battled for control of the British Isles and a "mish mash of peoples evolved into a homogenous nation possessed with a strong cultural identity," according to New York Times bestselling author of the book, Caroline Alexander.
 
Alexander, author of the bestselling The Endurance and The Bounty, draws themes from the story of the spectacular treasure to explore the entire fascinating history of the Saxons in England; from the fall of Rome to the flourishing and seemingly incomprehensible spread of Saxon influence. Piece by piece, she draws readers into a world of near constant warfare guided by a unique understanding of Christianity, blended as it was with pagan traditions. Through heroic and epic literature that survives in poems such as Beowulf and the Legends of King Arthur, Alexander seeks to separate myth from reality and wonder, with readers, if the circumstances of the deposit of such a spectacular hoard have parallels in legendary tales. Peering through a millennia of mist and mystery, Alexander reveals a fascinating era—and a mesmerizing discovery—as never before, uncovering a dynamic period of history that would see its conclusion in the birth of the English nation.
 
Set in a landscape whose beauty endures, the story of the making of England emerges through a wealth of archaeological and written material. The story highlights the fluid nature of human societies and carries a surprisingly modern message of a successful, cohesive culture emerging from a diverse group of peoples.
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Editorial Reviews

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In books like The War That Killed Achilles, The Endurance, and The Bounty, Caroline Alexander has revealed history to be the exciting pursuit it is by using archaeological discoveries to disclose its secrets. Her new Lost Gold of the Dark Ages applies that strategy to the Anglo-Saxons, who fought hard to dominate England for six centuries, from the decline of Roman Britain until the Norman Conquest in 1066. Alexander's narrative is presented in the setting of a large format National Geographic Society pictorial that enables us to view this fractious period through objects that survived it. In this case, many of these objects are gold and silver treasures or painstakingly crafted weapons of war. This book is not just a collection of artifacts; it has the feel of real lives lived.

From the Publisher
“The images presented in this book are gorgeous. And stunning.” –Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426208140
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 972,803
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Alexander is the bestselling author of The Endurance and The Bounty, and is widely recognized for her nonfiction writing. She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Granta, Conde Nast Traveler, and National Geographic magazine.
 
Dr. Kevin Leahy, National Adviser for the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the British Museum, specializes in Medieval metalwork and is the expert who has been studying the hoard.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    So so

    Disappointing, text is complete but the only pictures are close ups of the hoard. No maps or insitu photos. I wish I bought the actual book not the e-version

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Anything English is recommended.

    The book was a gift for my husband and he loves it !!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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