I don’t live in the past—I only visit—and so can you!


We just got back from a multi-era trip to the East Coast, including the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. The exhibit has a hundred pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard, along with videos and modern reproductions provided by Regia in the UK. It will be there until March.

The Staffordshire Hoard is a collection of gold and silver pieces from the seventh or eighth century that is redefining our idea of the so-called “Dark Ages.”  It was discovered in 2009 by a metal detectorist working with the owner’s permission in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England. The Hoard, consisting of some 3,500 items, has been valued at over five million dollars, which will be shared between the finder and the owner of the land. It is not only an example of finding a picture window into the past but of everyone concerned doing the Right Thing! Authorities and archaeologists were alerted by the founders, and a subterfuge was used to keep the discovery secret and safe until authorities had a hand on it. There are many sites available that speak more about the discovery, including this site.

The Lost Gold of the Saxons display was incredible and highly recommended. The artifacts are overwhelming, and after a while you just concentrate on the videos, taken from the two documentaries put out by NatGeo and including a sequence on how the inlying, etc. was done (that may be on the second doc, which I haven’t seen). The things sent by Regia in the UK were wonderful and well arranged. it was fun guessing who sent what (and who various persons in the videos were, since the nasal helms were very confusing. They did a marvelous display where a rebated sword was in a cage, so kids could pick it up and feel how heavy it was but couldn’t swing it around!

The NatGeo folk apparently drastically underestimated the appeal of the exhibit. They had no exhibition catalog, had sold out of the DVD of the first program two weeks ago and didn’t expect new copies for another week or two, had only one facsimile of jewelry for sale, no CDs of music (archaeological or otherwise) except for a DVD of Beowulf recited to lyre music) and only two books on Anglo-Saxon life in the bookstore. They did have an umbrella with a sword hilt handle 🙂 They still have until March to put in new stuff, so I will be watching it!

The first documentary on the Hoard is available on DVD; a DVD of the second documentary will, I was told, be available in two months (apparently, they were overwhelmed by requests and questions and are rushing it into production).

The food in the cafe was good as well 🙂

Information on the exhibit may be reached on the National Geographic site. To get the book and DVD published by National Geographic without going to Washington, you can go to their shop online.

7 responses

  1. Dave Huggins

    Hello Folo. Thanks for the ‘first hand’ review of the exhibit, indeed the artifacts are awe-inspiring. May I just clarify that not all the reconstructions where made by members of Regia and that most of the period helmeted re-enactors in the videos where members of Wulfheodenas, a society of friends who specialise in the period 550-650A.D., although they where abley as ever augmented in the scenes by Al Comachio and Nigel Amos of Regia Anglorum and other duel members.

    December 8, 2011 at 01:49

    • Thanks. I certainly wasn’t wanting to minimize or diss; I just learned that myself (last night on the Regia list)! I assume that Wulfheodenas are members of the Ulfednar? In anycase, would you be so kind to give us links to your web site(s)?

      Thanks very much!

      December 8, 2011 at 07:46

      • Dave Huggins

        Certainly not Folo, I understand the filming experiance was mutually enjoyed by all participants. Unfortuently Wulfheodenas does not have a web site although we do have a Facebook page. Like many groups Wulfheodenas has members who share duel members of other re-enactment/living history groups, but brings us together to explore and share our interests in the military and meadhall culture of the Early Anglo-Saxons and contemporary Scandinavian and Continental society.
        Many of our crafts folk have their own websites.
        Wulfheodenas will have a presence at the Jorvik Festival so If you are around in the U.K. in Feburary do please say hello.
        Be well…Dave, on behalf of Wulfheodenas.

        December 8, 2011 at 08:34

      • Live in the States, so probably won’t see you at Jorvik (though I keep hearing more and more reasons I’d like to get over th4ere for that!). Npw to head to the FB page and take a look!

        Take care!

        December 8, 2011 at 09:02

  2. Dave Huggins

    Hello Folo, we have been tardy with our website but have a look here
    enhanced Facebook presence.

    February 14, 2012 at 08:52

    • Thanbks! I just Liked it. Our FB page is http://www.facebook.com/groups/8904601445/

      Just received the new NatGeo gift that has both Lost Gold specials. Very ecommended for folk if it’s available in their region!

      February 14, 2012 at 09:11

      • Dave Huggins

        Thank you, I will have to take a look and see if the dvd is available here in the U.K.

        February 14, 2012 at 09:14

Leave a Reply to Dave Huggins Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s