The York Helmet
750AD - 775AD
The world-famous York Helmet is the most outstanding object of the Anglo-Saxon period ever discovered.
This iron and brass helmet was found in 1982 in Coppergate, when it was nearly struck by the claw of a mechanical digger. Luckily the operator stopped to check when he hit something hard. It was a wood-lined pit that contained the helmet, along with an iron tool and fragments of antler, stone and glass.
The decoration of the nose-piece is a beautiful example of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship – notice the animals entwined in the intricate pattern.
On the crest is an inscription in Latin which translates as, 'In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God; and to all we say amen Oshere'.
The helmet was undoubtedly a prized possession and a great status symbol for the owner. 'Oshere' was certainly a nobleman and may well have been a member of the Northumbrian royal family, the most powerful dynasty in England at the time.
During 2010 The York Helmet was on display at the British Museum for several months, it returned to York for the reopening of the Yorkshire Museum on 1 August 2010.