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19 July 2008
Bronze Age treasure unearthed in Surrey

A Coroner has ruled that a hoard of ancient bronze ingots found on farmland near Dorking (Surrey, England) are treasure. Nick Green, who is a member of the East Surrey Search and Recovery group, unearthed the rare find while metal detecting at a farm in Betchworth in January. Realising the significance, Mr Green made a note of the location using his handheld GPS and reported it to Surrey County Council's finds liaison officer, David Williams, who arranged a small excavation of the site.
     The eight bronze fragments, which were contained in a pottery vessel, were taken to the British Museum for further analysis and are believed to originate from the late Bronze Age between 1000 and 800 BCE. Now a hearing at Woking Coroner's Court has ruled the items are treasure. "This is a unique find for England," Mr Williams added. "Although there are a few English antiquarian records of ingots found within a pottery container, this is the first to be recovered in modern times and certainly the first from Surrey."
     Under the Treasure Act 1996, treasure is defined as any item found (not including coins) that is at least 300-years-old and contains at least 10% gold or silver, or a hoard of two or more coins at least 300-years-old when found. The act was extended in 2002 to cover groups of two or more artefacts of base-metal and of prehistoric date from the same find. It is hoped that Mr Green's find will be lodged at Guildford Museum.

Source: Get Surrey (30 June 2008)

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