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3 February 2005
Rare Bronze Age gold ring found in England

A rare Bronze Age ring found last year on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England, has gone before a treasure trove inquest.
    The ring, which is known as a composite ring, comprises of three ribs soldered together, and may have hung from a neck torc or from a bracelet. It weighs 3.57 grams and was found to be 82 per cent gold, probably dating back to the middle Bronze Age, making it around 3,500 years old. Frank Basford, the county archaeologist, said "There is very little Bronze Age gold work around, making this a very significant and important find in a national and Island context."
    It was found by Alan Rowe, an illustrator, while metal detecting last summer. He had previously found an unrecorded Iron Age and Roman settlement in the East Wight in 1998, where more than 500 coins were found, including five extremely rare silver quarter staters stamped with an eagle motif, which may be unique to the Isle of Wight.
    "That was my find of a lifetime and I never in a million years expected to do it again but then I came across this little ring," said Mr Rowe. "It might only be small but to find something so old was thrilling. At first I thought it was a ring for the finger but it has since been identified as a composite ring."
    The ring was declared treasure trove by the island's coroner John Matthews, and will now be valued by the British Museum. Newport's Guildhall Museum has expressed an interest in buying it.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press (3 February 2005)

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