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22 May 2004
Golden find in Dorset is 4,000 years old

A day's metal detecting has unearthed an unexpected treasure - a 4,000-year-old piece of gold. The ornamental piece of gold is only the second piece to ever be found in the UK and the first to be discovered in Dorset. The only other similar piece to be found in Britain was discovered in Oxford and sent to the British Museum in 1982. The golden artifact was found by Clive Gibbs and his metal detector in a ploughed field in Fontmell Magna in November 2002. The precious metal has a gold content of 87 per cent and although it can't be identified with total certainty, may have come from Ireland or France.
     Claire Pinder, senior archaeologist at Dorset County Council, said: "One side of the strip is decorated with thin lines, the other side is quite plain. It's meant to be decorative, maybe it would have been set into something like a wooden object or wrapped around clothing. It could also have been part of an earring or twisted into someone's hair, we just don't know. It probably belonged to someone wealthy or of high status. It looks flimsy but is very heavy because of its high gold content." The gold is the most significant find in Dorset recently.

Sources: Daily Echo, This is North Dorset & Blanford (21 May 2004)

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