Two amateur treasure hunters have uncovered a bracelet decorated with some of the earliest Celtic art ever found in Britain in a trove of gold jewellery revealed on Tuesday (Feb 28).
Metal detectorists Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania made the discovery of the three torcs and a bracelet, which may have been made in France or Germany some 2,500 years ago.
They were found in a field in Staffordshire in central England in December.
“This unique find is of international importance,” said Julia Farley, curator of British and European Iron Age collections at the British Museum, who assessed the find.
“It dates to around 400 to 250 BC and is probably the earliest Iron Age gold work ever discovered in Britain.”
Farley said the torcs may have been worn by wealthy women from the continent who had married into the local community and they had been “carefully buried”.
Hambleton said: “We have found the odd Victorian coin but mostly it has been just junk.
“So I couldn’t believe it when I picked out this mud-covered item and on cleaning it off, I thought this might actually be gold.”
Under the law in England and Wales, the finder and the owner of the land could be eligible for financial compensation if the archaeological artefacts are bought by a museum. – AFP Relaxnews