(Re)discovering the Gaulcross Hoard

Gordon Noble, Martin Goldberg, Alistair McPherson, Oskar Sveinbjarnarson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-741
Number of pages16
Issue number351
Early online date17 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note


We would like to thank Charles and Helen Gray for permitting access to the land and for support in the excavation of the hoard. Thanks also to Bruce Mann and the Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service for advice and supporting the radiocarbon dating. Fraser Hunter and Tanja Romankiewicz assisted during a very cold excavation. Fraser and Alice Blackwell kindly read and commented on drafts of this paper. The fieldwork was funded through a donation to the University of Aberdeen's Development Trust and undertaken as part of the Northern Picts project, in association with the Tarbat Discovery Centre.


  • silver hoard
  • Hacksilber
  • Pictish
  • Scotland
  • Early Medieval
  • late Roman
  • metal-detecting


Dive into the research topics of '(Re)discovering the Gaulcross Hoard'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this