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29 April 2007
Bronze Age find in England

A British metal-detecting novice who unearthed an 'extremely important' hoard of Bronze Age artefacts has said his discovery was due to 'sheer luck'. John Minns, from Arbroath, Angus, made the find during a holiday near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland (England), in 2005, just after starting his hobby. The hoard includes gold hair rings, bracelets, weapons and a bronze razor. It is going on display at Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities until the end of June. It is intended that it will be exhibited to the public permanently from 2009 at the forthcoming Great North Museum. A Bronze Age razor - the first to be found in the county - was among the objects discovered. This suggests men living in the area between about 1000 and 800 BCE were clean-shaven.
     Gold lock rings, thought to have been hair decorations, as well as bracelets, rings, pins and axe heads were also found after Mr Minns was given permission by a local farmer to take the detector on to his land. Lindsay Allason-Jones, director of Archaeological Museums at Newcastle University, said: "Hoards from the late Bronze Age containing such a variety of objects in such good condition are very rare in the north of England, so this is an extremely important find." And, on the issue of how the objects came to be buried together, she added: "It is hard to know whether it was meant as an offering to a deity, or whether it might have been a Bronze Age founder's hoard, which the owner hid, intending to come back for it later."

Source: BBC News (24 April 2007)

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