Police officers seized the Viking treasure in multiple raids across County Durham and Lancashire in 2019.

The two involved – 73-year-old Roger Pilling of Loveclough, Lancashire, and 44-year-old Craig Best of Bishop Auckland, County Durham – have denied charges relating to the hoard, which contains silver and coins.

The charges

Specifically, the men negated conspiring to convert criminal property between 2018 and 2019.

Pilling also denied charges of possessing a silver ingot and some Anglo-Saxon coins, among other things. Best also denied a charge of possessing criminal property. 

Durham police previously revealed that a large number of coins and a silver ingot were seized in two raids, according to the BBC.

A significant trove

The haul contained the coins of Alfred the Great of Wessex (king of the West Saxons from about 871-886 AD) and Ceolwulf II of Mercia (king of independent Mercia from around 874-879 AD).

King Alfred defeated the Vikings in 878 AD. In connection with that, some scientists believe the treasure is part of an undeclared hoard, which would be in line with the location of Viking forces at the time.

The recovery of the coins generated a shockwave among experts. Curator of early medieval coins and Viking collections at the British Museum, Dr. Gareth Williams, described the hoard as a "nationally important hoard" that could "add significantly" to the current understanding of England's political history.

You can find out more about the Viking economy here.

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