Friday, 25 February 2011

News - Third haul for treasure hunter (Newark)

Treasure-trove hunter Mr Maurice Richardson has unearthed his third haul.
Mr Richardson found a cache of Bronze Age tools buried in a field eight miles from Newark.

He found them by accidentally wandering off a track while completely immersed searching with his metal detector.

Mr Richardson, who lives in Newark, made the find while examining a field owned by a farmer he met through his tree surgery business.

The cache includes several well-preserved socket axe handles, chisels, a spear head, broken sections of swords, and unmoulded clumps of bronze.

It is believed they once belonged to a Bronze Age blacksmith with a travelling foundry who would have toured from settlement to settlement forging weapons and tools and collecting broken ones to be re-smelt into serviceable replacements.

Bronze was worth as much as gold is today and was also very heavy so smithies, fearing they could be robbed, would bury stashes near recognisable markers along their well-travelled routes and dig them up when passing by.

Mr Richardson believes this cache remained in the ground because something happened to alter the landscape between the blacksmith’s visits or, that he died before retrieving them.

“Three thousand years ago bronze would have been difficult to obtain. The tin could only come from the mines in Cornwall and the copper from Ireland,” said Mr Richardson.

“This represents the first step up from the use of flints. It was the first use of metals. Some of these items are incredible and very well preserved.

“I only found them after I wandered off the path. My head was down concentrating and then the detector went off. It was a complete accident.

“I have no idea what they are worth or whether they hold any value more than their historical worth.”

Mr Richardson sent the find to the Portable Antiques Scheme. It will then go on to the British Museum to be assessed, dated and valued.

In addition to the Bronze Age items, he found Roman brooches and around 70 coins dating from 40-48BC as well as floor tiles from a Roman villa known to have been built on the site.

If the cache is declared treasure trove, Mr Richardson will split half of its worth with the landowner and the pieces will likely be exhibited locally or nationally.

An earlier find by Mr Richardson, a 2,100-year-old torc valued at £350,000, is exhibited in the British Museum.

He also found 200 pieces of medieval, Saxon and Roman pieces in a field two miles from Newark last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment