Dornoch Historylinks Image Library

Hack silver
Hack silver

A piece of hack silver Part of an assemblage of metal detector finds from the area around Ospisdale. This group of medieval and later finds can be compared to the larger assemblage found several years ago around Dornoch as many of the objects are of the same type and age. [Grid Ref: NH 70668 88556]
Picture added on 19 December 2014 at 12:18
Hello Sue, not sure if you have the relevant details for the hack silver but this is the report submitted by Stuart Campbell at the Treasure Trove Unit in Edinburgh.

Period/Culture: Early Historic

Date: 9th-10th Century

A piece of Early Historic hack silver, cut from a larger bar shaped ingot. Before the introduction of coinage silver ingots were the standard way to store wealth for trade or for use by silversmiths. In a British context they are most often associated with Viking activity, although the slightly later adoption of coinage in Scotland (by the 12th century) suggests that ingots may have remained in use rather longer. A similar piece of hacksilver (this one a piece of Viking bracelet, TT case 84/10) was found closer to Dornoch and is now in Dornoch Historylinks Museum. A Viking tortoiseshell brooch was also discovered in Ospisdale in 1830 (acquired for NMAS in 1933).

As with the earlier find from Dornoch, these are unusual as single finds and normally comprise part of a hoard. Metal detecting has been particular useful at turning up the single finds which may represent loss during trade rather than hoarding practices.

Many thanks Pete for posting this information - Administrator

Added by Pete Webber on 14 June 2015
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