Staffordshire Hoard is the largest
Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found . Discovered in a field near the village of
England, on 5 July 2009, it consists of over 3,500 items that are nearly all martial in character and contains no objects specific to female uses. The
artefacts have tentatively been dated to the 7th or 8th centuries, placing the origin of the items in the time of the Anglo-Saxon
kingdom of Mercia. Experts have produced a range of theories as to where the hoard came from and how it came to be deposited, and whether the objects were made for
pagans. The average quality of the workmanship is extremely high and especially remarkable in view of the large number of individual objects, such as swords or helmets, from which the elements in the hoard came.
The hoard has been described by Leslie Webster, former keeper of the department of prehistory at the
British Museum, as "absolutely the metalwork equivalent of finding a new
Lindisfarne Gospels or
Book of Kells." She stated further that "this is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England as radically, if not more so, as the
Sutton Hoo discoveries." Dr Roger Bland, Head of the
Portable Antiquities Scheme, said, "It is a fantastically important discovery. It is assumed that the items were buried by their owners at a time of danger with the intention of later coming back and recovering them."
The hoard was valued at £3.285 million and has now been purchased by the
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.
Robbie Williams is an English singer-songwriter, and occasional actor born in
Staffordshire. He is a member of the pop group
Take That, but has found greater commercial success as a solo artist.
Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and group members, Williams left the group in 1995 to launch a hugely successful solo career, which saw his first seven albums each reach
number one in the UK. Williams also released seven number-one singles and found similar success across Europe. On 15 July 2010, it was announced he had rejoined Take That. The group's subsequent album became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century so far. He continues to perform both as a member of Take That and as a solo artist.
Williams has sold more than 77 million albums and singles worldwide. He is the best-selling British solo artist in the United Kingdom and the best selling non-Latino artist in Latin America. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the United Kingdom, and in 2006 he entered the
Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million tickets of his
Close Encounters Tour in a single day. He has also been honoured with seventeen
BRIT Awards—more than any other artist—and eight
ECHO Awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the
UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted as the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s." Williams is married to actress
Ayda Field. He has a net worth of £130 million (2014).