Modern excavations can sometimes provide surprising new insights on antiquarian finds of metalwork. The Pictish silver hoard from Gaulcross in north-eastern Scotland provides an excellent example. Recent fieldwork, including metal-detecting, has clarified the size and composition of the hoard, and uncovered 100 new silver items, including coins, fragments of brooches and bracelets, ingots and parcels of cut, bent and broken silver known as Hacksilber. Comparisons with other hoards and with Pictish symbol stones illustrate the circumstances and date of deposition, the origin of the silver and the forms of society emerging in Scotland in the post-Roman period.
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