THE public have been given their first chance to see a fabulous treasure hoard unearthed from a North Yorkshire field.

The gold and silver objects were put on show at the Yorkshire Museum in York as fund-raising began to save the artefacts from being snapped up by the highest bidder.

Found in a field near Bedale in May 2012 the long-lost treasure would once have been a wealthy Viking’s life savings and are worth more than £50,000.

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The Northern Echo:

And the museum is now in a race against time to raise enough to buy the nationally-significant find before March and save it for the county.

The full hoard consists of a gold sword pommel, a unique silver neck ring and neck collar, a silver armlet, 29 silver ingots, two other silver neck rings, gold rivets and half a silver brooch.

Archaeologists believe the objects are more than 1,000-years-old and were buried for safe-keeping by a wealthy Viking who for some reason never returned to his hidden hoard.

They were found in an area where very little is known about Viking activities but their presence indicates there was great wealth around.

Curator of archaeology Natalie McCaul said: “We hope if we can buy the hoard we will be able to conduct research to help us get a better understanding of the people who lived in Yorkshire at that time.”

A campaign is now underway to secure enough finds to buy the hoard, which will be on show in the museum until the end of March.

People can donate via the website yorkshiremuseum.org.uk, in person at the Yorkshire Museum, or by phoning 01904-687671.