La Satira News Service
Lichfield, Staffordshire–Scientists and legal experts are evaluating the merits of a new claim of ownership to one of the most important archaeological finds of the last hundred years.
A man calling himself Ecgberht the Bombastic filed suit in the office of the Staffordshire County Coroner claiming the Staffordshire Hoard, a trove of ancient Anglo-Saxon metalwork found near Lichfield in 2009, on behalf of his employer.
The suit claims Mr. Bombastic is a representative of insurer Clwyd‘s of Lundenwic, who insured the hoard in the 8th century and was obliged to pay out when the hoard was lost. Mr. Bombastic presented as evidence a piece of ancient vellum covered in handwritten Latin and wax seals, which he said was a policy written out to one Aethelstan the Directionally-Impaired, one-time king of Mercia, who got lost en route to his own coronation and was consequently deposed in favor of someone with a better sense of direction.
The vellum document has been submitted to a panel of linguists and historians for further study.
According to Mr. Bombastic’s story, Aethelstan hid the hoard, which consists mainly of gold ornaments taken from armor and weaponry, and insured it in preparation for an imminent invasion from Wessex. The invasion was repelled, but Aethelstan was unable to locate the treasure. The hoard was declared a loss, and Mr. Bombastic’s firm paid out 50 cattle, 200 sheep, and a flock of geese in recompense.
“Since we have already paid off our client, the treasure clearly belongs to my firm,” said Mr. Bombastic through a translator. “This payout represented a significant blow to our equity, and retrieving the treasure would go a long way toward consolidating our position.” Mr. Bombastic indicated that he would be willing to liquidate his claim for the price paid out, plus interest. He calculates the current value at 1000 cattle, 500 sheep, and 60 geese.
Asked why he waited more than thirteen centuries to seek recovery in the case, Mr. Bombastic replied that he “would have been here sooner, but the time portal at Stonehenge was broken,” requiring him to “use the one at Callanish instead.”
“The implications of this case are enormous,” said legal expert Martin Blair. “It could potentially rewrite our entire understanding of Mercian legal structures.” Asked about the potential impact of the apparent discovery of time travel, Mr. Blair added, “Oh, yes; there’s that too. We’ll be able to go back and observe their legal system first-hand.”
For more–and genuine–information about the Staffordshire Hoard: http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/
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