Inventions 6 – The Staffordshire Hoard

Enquiry: What was the most significant invention pre-1500?

Before you start find your three R cards from Inventions 1.

How significant were the skills of craftspeople pre 1066?

To help undertsand how skilled craftspeople, such as goldsmiths, were before 1066 we are going to study the Staffordshire Hoard.

TASK 1: What is the Staffordshire Hoard?

  1. Read the following extract to learn about the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard.

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon (410 AD to 1066 AD) gold and silver metalwork ever found. It was discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, Staffordshire (UK) on 5 July 2009. It consists of almost 4,600 items and fragments. The artefacts in the Staffordshire Hoard combine to nearly 4 kilos of gold, 1.7 kilos of silver and thousands of garnets. There is nothing comparable in terms of content and quantity in the UK or Europe. The objects were made by skilled craftspeople, and it’s likely craftspeople were involved in their dismantling as well. There are signs that the objects were taken apart using the types of tools that a metalsmith would use.

AD: In the modern calendar, we label all years with B.C. (before Christ) or A.D. (anno domini, or “in the year of our lord”). In this system, the year Christ was born is 1 A.D., and the year before it is 1 B.C.

Location of Hammerwich village, Staffordshire
The field it was found in

TASK 2: What can we learn about the skills of craftspeople before 1066 from the Staffordshire Hoard?

  1. Using the link create a poster about the Staffordshire Hoard.

Key points from the site to help you:
The evidence suggests that the craftspeople:
* had access to stashes of better-quality metal for particularly prestigious objects.
* managed to change the surface of the objects to remove some of the silver. This has the effect of making the object look even more golden.
* had a very sophisticated understanding of materials and technology.
* carefully selected garnets of different colour to emphasise the design.
* could also have been recycling older silver objects.
* Anglo-Saxon glassmakers were reworking supplies of Roman or imported glass and adding to it to make new glass. 
* Pastes and cements, composed of animal glue, beeswax, plant gums and calcium carbonate, were used to hold the complex objects together. 

TASK 3: How significant were the skills of craftspeople pre 1066?

  1. Think: based on Task Two do you think the the skills of craftspeople were significant pre 1066?
TASK 4: Write one paragraph for a historical journal on the significance of the skills of craftspeople pre 1066.
You must include:
* your opinion on the significance of craftspeople’s skills
* historical terminology – the 3 R’s
* specific evidence

Need more help? Click on the help zone
Click here here for the 3 Rs

Remarkable: at the time or since
Worthy of attention, amazing

Remembered: it was important to a group of people
People have not forgotten it

Resulted in change: had consequences for the future
It led to other things happening


Write your journal entry using a PEEL paragraph. This will make sure your opinion is expressed clearly and supported with evidence.

POINT: make your point. Was it significant?
The evidence shows that craftspeople’s skill were …

EVIDENCE: support your point with facts and examples.
This is clearly shown by …

EXPLAIN: how your evidence supports your point.
Here use the 3 Rs – remember, remarkable, resulted in change.

LINK: back to the main point.
Overall, it is clear that craftspeople had a …

Well done. You have completed your learning.


Is the use of precious metals such as gold and silver any more advanced today?