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24 December 2005
Gardener's Bronze Age treasure

A hoard of Bronze Age artefacts which had been discovered in a garden in England has been declared treasure trove. The items which include spears, sword parts and axe heads were discovered by Simon Francis as he landscaped a garden in Poplar Avenue, Eaton, near Norwich in April. The discovery, one of the biggest finds in the county, was almost thrown into a skip.
     Mr Targett, a company director and an amateur archaeologist, called the authorities and Dr Tim Pestell, curator of archaeology at Norwich Castle Musuem said the items was one of the largest Bronze Age hoards ever found in Norfolk. "The edges were still sharp, in fact on the spears you could have easily cut yourself," added Mr Targett.
     The 149 artefacts, which date back to 800 BCE, are believed to be from a local foundry and are worth about £10,000. The Norwich coroner declared the hoard a treasure trove because it was money or coins, gold, silver, or bullion, which was hidden or concealed and has been found by accident.
     The finds are currently displayed at Norwich Castle Museum in a Buried Treasure exhibition until January 15, but there are fears that the musuem lacks the budget to keep the items in Norfolk.

Sources: BBC News, EDP24 (21 December 2005)

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