SOME of South Tyneside’s most precious treasures are returning to their birthplace this summer.
Roman artefacts and historical documents will be on show in the borough, allowing people a fascinating glimpse of how life used to be.
On Sunday, May 18, Bede’s World in Jarrow, will host a full-sized replica of the Codex Amiatinus on loan from its long-term home at the San Salvatore monastery in Tuscany, Italy.
The Codex Amiatinus was a Latin bible painstakingly made by the monks of Jarrow and Wearmouth monastery around 692 AD.
The Codex replica is the oldest exisiting copy in the world and took over three years to make by Italian monks.
It includes more than 1000 pages of scripted illustrations and calligraphy and it will be the first time it has left its residence in Italy.
From July 19, Bede’s World will also host Banners of the North - an array of treasures, on loan from the British Museum – which highlight how the area changed following the invasion of William the Conqueror.
Among them are a 15th century gold signet ring, believed to have belonged to the Percy family during the Wars of the Roses and a gold pendant depicting St George slaying the dragon.
The displays are part of the Treasures programme, that will also see a copy of the Boldon Book manuscript of 1183 go on display at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery from July 19.
The manuscript is the earliest surviving copy of the 12th century Boldon Book and is a special loan from the British Library and features some of the earliest references and information about villages in the borough including Boldon, after which the book is named.
Elsewhere, Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields, will welcome The Glory of Rome: Arbeia’s Greatest Treasures from July 17, allowing visitors to see some of the greatest Roman artefacts in Britain, discovered in and around the fort.
Highlights of the exhibition include a shield boss, on loan from the British Museum, found near the mouth of the River Tyne in 1866 and dating back to the early second century.
Bede Ward councillor Fay Cunningham said: “Each item in the Treasures programme has been chosen because of its links to this region and it makes you very aware of what a crucial role we have played in all aspects of cultural and religious development throughout the ages.
“It is an incredible undertaking to bring all these treasures together for the very first time and we are very grateful to all those – such as the British Museum – who have made it possible.”
For further information about the full range of exhibitions and displays which make up the Treasures programme, visit www.bedesworld.co.uk or www.twmuseums.org.uk.