I'll straight up admit that I've always thought metal detectors were really, really cool. No matter how dweeby it is to stroll slowly along the beach swinging the beeping thing from left to right, I wanna do it. When I was a tween I kept asking for a metal detector for Christmas, but my parents could never afford it. And too bad, really. Because it could have been me who discovered the hoard of buried treasure in a field right here in the English midlands.
As it happened, it was an old, unemployed bachelor who had the metal detector. He bought it at a car boot sale (garage sale) for £2.50. And you know, if it couldn't be me, I'm glad it was him. Because here's what happened: one night last year, he dreamed about finding buried gold, woke up, took his schnazzy detector out into a field, and ka-blam, he unearthed the Staffordshire Hoard, a massive trove of buried Anglo-Saxon treasure. Remember when I was telling you about The Sutton Hoo treasure? This treasure blows it out of the water, people. It's roughly the equivalent of finding a new Book of Kells or King Tut's Tomb. And you know what the metal detector bachelor did?? He didn't tell a soul and spent six feverish days digging it all up with a shovel. I love this man.
There are 1,500 pieces of treasure, which are valued at £3.285 million ($5.5 million), and since they were legally declared "treasure trove", they all belong the crown (how convenient). But, there is an element of finders keepers, too -- the treasure was purchased from the bachelor metal detector man, who will split the millions with the farmer on whose land he was trespassing when he found the stash. I wish I could have been there when Farmer Johnson got the call.
"Hello, Fred Johnson?"
"You know that field you've been slaving over for your whole life, trying to eek out enough grain to earn a pittance to live on?"
"Well I was strolling through your field one day and just happened to find a massive stash of 1200-year-old buried treasure . Can I offer you 1.6 million pounds?"
Now that the treasure's all been cleaned and analyzed and whatnot, it's on display at Birmingham Art Gallery, if you'd like to come have a look. But more importantly, next time you see a metal detector for £2.50 at a car boot sale, buy it for me, kay?