More than 100 graves were discovered when an aerial photo, showing evidence of an Iron Age site, gave freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock clues to the “buried treasure”.
The amazing finds, including gold and silver brooches dating back to the 7th century, look certain to have connections with the ancient Kings of Northumbria.
Steve, 53, formerly of Redcar, described it as “the find of a lifetime”.
The excavations began in 2005 and continued under Steve's supervision with help from Tees Archaeology and local volunteers, working four to six weeks every summer. They have covered an area the size of half a football pitch near Loftus, discovering a cemetery of 109 burials.
The items are thought to have been buried after 650AD at the time St Hilda was trying to establish a monastery at Hartlepool and later at Whitby.
Way to go Steve!