Scholars of manuscripts, particularly students of script, relish warning us about the likely loss of whole generations of manuscripts between the extant items, frowning on attempts to elucidate an apparent process.
Nevertheless, Plot's story indicates how little the nature of this area changed over hundreds of years.
The area of highland running north-south through southern Staffordshire from the Cannock Hills to the Birmingham Plateau separated the territories of two folk-groups (Fig. This was an area of marginal land which was probably being used as seasonal pasture by estate centres established to the west and east. Domesday estate links in south Staffordshire (from Dean, Hooke & Jones 2010).
After a superbly successful national appeal, the Staffordshire Hoard, valued at well in excess of £3 million, was purchased for the public benefit and is now jointly owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council.
The remarkable treasure trove totals some 4,000 objects and fragments: just about 13 pounds of gold, nearly 4 pounds of silver and around 4,000 cloisonné garnets.
In the first half of the 7th century, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia was ascending towards the zenith of its power, hard-won through decades of conflict with neighbouring peoples.