Academics say the Staffordshire Hoard of gold and silver artefacts will re-write our understanding of Anglo-Saxon and specifically Mercian history. Those like me and probably most of the visitors to the exhibition at Birmingham Museum with a shaky grasp of Mercian history and culture are more likely just to say ‘Wow!’
The scale and quality of the finds is staggering.
Ancient treasure has strong pulling power – the Tutankhamun exhibition has been touring the world profitably for 30 years – but it also represents local identity. So where will the Hoard end up? In the British Museum? Or back in the Midlands where it came from? The latter I hope. Re-branded as Mercia?