Viking treasure finders reflect as first secrets are revealed
Published on 12 November, 2014
The finders of the spectacular Viking treasure hoard discovered on Church land finders have spoken about the impact the remarkable discovery has had on them. It comes as a video has been released revealing the first insights into the trove. Church of Scotland minister Rev Dr David Bartholomew and Elim Pentecostal Church Pastor Mike Smith were with metal detectorist Derek McLennan when he found the hoard in Dumfries and Galloway in September. It's one month since the find was revealed to the public, prompting both David and Derek to reflect on what it has meant to them.
Historic Scotland have released a video of the most exciting finds, a large silver Carolingian pot, which was discovered completely intact with its lid in place. The video shows it being scanned using the MRI scanner at Borders General Hospital. Richard Welander, head of collections at Historic Scotland says watching the images appear on screen was akin to opening up Tutankhamun's tomb. The scan has revealed 'really remarkable contents' within the pot, which will now be painstakingly prepared for conservation work to go ahead.
Rev Dr David Bartholomew has written an account detailing the extraordinary events of the day the treasure was uncovered. In his article, he admits "I find a real tension and conflict within myself as I reflect on the hoard... we are called on by Christ not to store up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6.19). The tension is that this earthly treasure can divert me from my primary calling to share the love of Christ with a needy world. I must not forget the greater treasure that needs to be made known. The Danish Vikings had not discovered that treasure when they buried the hoard, but in the centuries that followed they came to embrace Christ for themselves. How I long that the people of our nation might turn again to embrace the living Christ in whom is life in all its fullness."
For Derek, and his partner Sharon, the last month has been a whirlwind of TV, radio and newspaper interviews in Scotland, the UK and beyond. But they have still found time to return to the two congregations, one from the Church of Scotland, very close to where the discovery was made to recount their story in full. In her reflection, Sharon says "The presentation began and the audience were enthralled… often Derek had to stop because of clapping and cheers. It engaged everyone and there was a sense of pride in the hall… proud to be Scottish, proud to be a Christian and proud of our heritage. It felt lovely to deliver such good news."
The full accounts from David, and Derek and Sharon, are available below.