Monday, September 17, 2007

The Startling Ubiquity of Viking Hoards

The Cranky Professor has a link to a story about a small Viking coin hoard found by a Swedish farmer. According to the story:
Gotland is one of the richest sources anywhere of buried Viking treasure. Discoveries of coins and other treasure are made on a regular basis.

It seems to me that every time I open my RSS reader there's another story about a stash of Viking coins being found. I wonder why this is. Has Lady Fortune decreed that by luck we should happen to have a rash of finds? Or are media outlets simply covering these stories more often? Or, perhaps, have RSS subscription services and searchable databases become so common that stories that would have only gotten local distribution are only now getting true international penetration? Or perhaps story rating services (like Digg.com) are driving such stories to the fore because online readers are especially interested in them?

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. One answer that doesn't entirely work but must be a factor, is that metal detectors are steadily getting cheaper, lighter and better, so more people are using them. But all the last three hoards I've read about were found by accident, so that's not it, and besides, that's a long trend.

    The dull and unsatisfying answer might be that all the big stories in the news at the moment are now losing their novelty and the papers and their electronic equivalents love the little guy come good, whether by finding buried treasure or winning the lottery.

    But I wonder if it may not in fact a kind of electronic critical mass; the big Harrogate hoard was so special that it got reported widely and now people are more generally looking out for hoard finds and reporting them because it is now clear that people are interested. In other words, I think Internet interest feeds itself, like a kind of self-expanding Ouroboros. (Eugh...)

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