By: Chris Yalom | 05-13-2017 | News
Photo credit: Tatyana Ivanikova |

Man Who Found Viking Treasure with Metal Detector Awarded £2m

A metal detectorist has discovered the biggest ever Viking treasure in Britain that would make him nearly £2 million richer.

Derek McLennan was able to discover 10th-century collection of rare Viking artifacts in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland's southwest in 2014.  About 100 items including silver bracelets and brooches, a gold ring, an enameled Christian cross, a bird-shaped gold pin, textiles and precious metals were unearthed. Other discovery includes rare gold ingot, beads, crystals and a decorated silver-gilt cup thought to be of Byzantine origin.

David Harvie, from Queen’s and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (QLTR) described the items discovered as “outstanding international significance” and “one of the most important finds ever discovered in Scotland."

The National Museum of Scotland described the treasure as “unique” because the haul was of the different variety that dates back to the 10th century of Europe.

McLennan gave the treasures to QLTR that governs on found goods and property without having an owner. QLTR ruled that McLennan should be paid £1.98m for the treasure to be handed over to Scotland’s National Museum for display.

Scotland rules on discovered treasure allows the finder to keep the full amount of the award unlike the rest of UK where awards are being split between the finder and the landowner.

Director of National Museums Scotland, Dr. Gordon Rintoul, said he was “delighted” that the treasure is transferred to the museum; now, they have six months to raise £1.98m to pay McLennan.


The Galloway Viking Hoard campaign group said the items should be displayed in the southwest of Scotland close to where they were discovered. The National Museums Scotland will work with Dumfries and Galloway Council for the display of the treasure in the region.

McLennan’s partner Sharon McKee, who is also involved in the treasure hunting, felt she was honored and feel privileged for the saving of an internationally significant treasure. She and McLennan look forward to other future discoveries.


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