The contents of a pot of Viking treasure, discovered in Dumfries and Galloway two years ago, can be revealed for the first time.

A painstaking study of the pot, buried for ten centuries, has revealed silver, gold and crystal objects which had been wrapped in cloth bundles.

The project is being funded by Historic Environment Scotland, working in partnership with the Treasure Trove Unit, and the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR).

The cache of objects were, until recently, contained in a Carolingian vessel which was part of a wider hoard of around a hundred items discovered by Derek McLennan, a metal detectorist from Ayrshire.

The items from within the vessel, which may have been accumulated over a number of generations, reveal objects from across Europe.

It includes six silver Anglo-Saxon disc brooches from the early 9th century date - the same amount as the largest such hoard of brooches from England, the Pentney hoard in the British Museum.

Other items includes a silver brooch from Ireland, Byzantium silk from around modern-day Istanbul, a gold ingot and some gold and crystal objects that have been carefully wrapped.

Historic Environment Scotland however said the purpose of the cache "remains a mystery".

A statement said: "While it’s clear many of the objects collected have a value as precious metal, the nature of the hoard remains a mystery, and includes objects in base metals and glass beads which have no obvious value.

"The decision about which material to include in the vessel appears to have been based on complex and highly personal notions of how an individual valued an object as much as the bullion value the objects represented."

The objects are not currently on display and are being studied by the Treasure Trove Unit, who assess the value of the hoard.

The hoard will then be allocated to Scottish museums.

Richard Welander, of Historic Environment Scotland, said: "Before removing the objects we took the rather unusual measure of having the pot CT scanned, in order that we could get a rough idea of what was in there and best plan the delicate extraction process.

"That exercise offered us a tantalising glimpse but didn’t prepare me for what was to come.

"These stunning objects provide us with an unparalleled insight to what was going on in the minds of the Vikings in Galloway all those years ago.

"They tell us about the sensibilities of the time, reveal displays of regal rivalries, and some of the objects even betray an underlying sense of humour, which the Vikings aren’t always renowned for."

Stuart Campbell of the Treasure Trove Unit, said: "The complexity of the material in the hoard raises more questions than it answers, and like all the best archaeology, this find doesn’t give any easy answers.

"Questions about the motivations and cultural identity of the individuals who buried it will occupy scholars and researchers for years to come."

The Viking hoard features on the latest episode of BBC Four’s Digging for Britain.