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At this point Herbert contacted Duncan Slarke, the Finds Liaison Officer for the Staffordshire and West Midlands Portable Antiquities Scheme.
The landowner Fred Johnson granted permission for an excavation to search for the rest of the hoard.
The incised strip appears to be the stem of a cross and this indicates a Viking threat to a church.
Paleographically, the inscription most likely dates to the 8th century, with the late 7th or early 9th not to be ruled out.
The hoard is of considerable importance in Anglo-Saxon archaeology.
Although excavations revealed no dating evidence for the feature, further investigation is planned. The discovery was publicly announced on 24 September 2009, attracting worldwide attention.
The Staffordshire Hoard official press statement notes that the only items in the hoard that are obviously non-martial are two (or possibly three) crosses.