Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the software, see hoard memory allocator .
In archaeology, a hoard is a collection of artefacts purposefully buried in the ground, usually with the intention of later recovery by the hoarder. Often due to forgetfulness, or the death of the hoarder, some hoards were never recovered and survived to be uncovered by archaeologists much later.
Hoards may be of precious metals, coinage, tools or more rarely, pottery. There are various classifications depending on the nature of the hoard.
A founder's hoard contains broken or unfit metal objects buried until it was time to melt them down and recast them
A merchant's hoard is a collection of various functional items which, it is conjectured, were buried by a travelling merchant who may not have trusted the inhabitants of the village he was approaching and buried his wares for later retrieval.
A personal hoard is a collection of personal objects buried for safety in times of unrest.
A hoard of loot is a buried collection of spoils from raiding and is more in keeping with the popular idea of 'buried treasure'.
Votive hoards are different from the above in that they represent purposeful deposition of items over time for ritual purposes, without an intent to recover them.
Hoards provide a useful method of providing dates for artefacts through association as they can usually be assumed to be contemporary and therefore used in creating chronologies. Hoards can also be considered to be an indicator of the relative degree of unrest in ancient societies.
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