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NYTimes: Europe: by John F. Burns 
I read this great article the other day. An unemployed man with a metal detector, who people often mocked for his pursuit, discovered a hoard of early Anglo-Saxon treasure in a farmer's field in Staffordshire, England. The treasure, likely bounty from the wars that racked Middle England in the 7th and 8th centuries, includes 1,500+ pieces of intricately worked gold and silver hilts, swords, crosses, and animal figurines whose craftsmanship and historical significance have awed archaeologists. The discoverer spent 18 years scouring fields and lots without much luck until the day of his discovery when he reworded his daily mantra: "I have this phrase that I say sometimes - 'Spirits of yesterday, take me where the coins appear' - but on that day I changed 'coins' to 'gold.' I don't know why I said it that day, but I think somebody was listening." Under British law, he, and the farmer whose field the trove lies in, get to split the value of the treasure.
I loved this article. It made me feel like I was in the 1980's Amiga video game, Defender of the Crown, making off with Medieval war bounty. It's nice to know there's still treasure out there waiting to be found by the determined seeker. And besides the fact that nearly everyone harbors a secret desire to stumble upon an ancient treasure trove, it's nice to know that those who get laughed at, can sometimes get the last laugh.
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