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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Staffordshire Hoard 2

Part of a helmet from the Staffordshire Hoard

GET READY:

If you found something expensive (like a ring or a wallet), would you try to find the owner? Or would you keep it?

READ THIS:

See yesterday's lesson for the first part of this story.

The Staffordshire Hoard was valued at £3.285 million, and has now been purchased by the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

The hoard was found when Terry Herbert, using a metal detector, was exploring an area of farmland. In the next five days, Herbert uncovered enough gold objects to fill 244 bags. Herbert notified the British government, and they hired a company named Birmingham Archaeology to do a compete excavation.

In September of 2009, it was declared that the hoard was a treasure, meaning it belongs to the Crown. Some of the finds were displayed at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Over 40,000 people came to see them, and waited in queues for several hours.

NOTES:

This text was based on an article at Wikipedia. You can see the original here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staffordshire_Hoard

Two more articles about the hoard can be found here:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/gold-hoard/alexander-text
http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/

This story was begun in yesterday's lesson.

PRACTICE:

Here are some of the difficult words in this article. Match them to their meanings.

GROUP 1
1. archaeology
2. an excavation
3. a metal detector
4. a treasure
5. to uncover

a. something very valuable
b. the study of very old things made by people (buildings, cups, swords, etc.)
c. digging up old things from the ground
d. to find
e. something used to help find coins, rings, etc., especially underground

GROUP 2
6. to declare
7. farmland
8. to notify
9. a queue
10. the Crown
11. to be valued

f. to tell (officially)
g. a line (of people)
h. to have a price assigned
i. to announce, to tell people publicly
j. the British government
k. an area where food can be grown

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION OR WRITING:

1. How much is £3.285 million in your country's currency? (If your country uses British pounds, what is the purchasing power of £3.285 million? Like, how many houses could you buy?)
2. If you were Terry Herbert, would you notify the government about what you found? (By the way, it was on another person's land, and Terry Herbert was looking with the land owner's permission.)
3. Do you think it's fair that the government took the treasure, and that Terry Herbert and the land owner can't keep it all? (Another article says Mr. Herbert and the land owner will each keep 25% of the treasure's value; the Crown gets the rest.)

ANSWERS TO THE PRACTICE (with explanations):

GROUP 1
1. archaeology: b. the study of very old things made by people (buildings, cups, swords, etc.)
2. an excavation: c. digging up old things from the ground. The verb is "to excavate."
3. a metal detector: e. something used to help find coins, rings, etc., especially underground. Some people take these to parks or the beach to look for coins and other lost objects.
4. a treasure: a. something very valuable. Here, the word has a special use. It means "something valuable whose owner is not known." In this case, the government can take it from the finder.
5. to uncover: d. to find. It can also simply mean "to take the cover off" of something. "Uncover the car; we're going for a drive."

GROUP 2
6. to declare: i. to announce, to tell people publicly. This is often a legal action, making a promise or a kind of contract.
7. farmland: k. an area where food is grown. This could be an actual farm, or an area meant to be a farm, but not being used right now.
8. to notify: f. to tell (officially). Similar to "declare."
9. a queue: g. a line (of people). This is usually used in British English. In American English, it is used to describe a list of jobs to be done by computer.
10. the Crown: j. the British government. A crown is a special hat worn by a king or queen. In this article, since it took place in England, THE Crown means the government (headed by the queen, who wears a crown).
11. to be valued: h. to have a price assigned. "Value" means "how much something is worth." "To be valued," then, means someone decides how much something is worth.

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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