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26 August 2008
Bronze ring unearthed in West Sussex

Artefacts not seen for about 3,000 years have been discovered at the site of a new hospice in West Durrington (West Sussex, England). Among the finds is an ancient bronze 'doughnut'. Volunteer metal detector enthusiast John Cole found the ring, possibly a Bronze Age ingot used as currency. Archaeologists have also unearthed large quantities of Roman and prehistoric pottery after stripping away hundreds of tons of topsoil using mechanical diggers and dumper trucks. They are currently concentrating on a 50m square area to the north east of the site about a tenth of the entire area they will be examining over the next six or seven weeks.
     Phil Emery, of London-based archaeological consultants Gifford, said the ring was the first significant find and potentially very important, although its age still had to be verified by experts. He added: "We have been finding quite large shards of Roman pottery and some Iron Age pottery, which is very soft and crumbly and therefore tends to be found in smaller fragments." The pottery, and some worked flints, had been found roughly half a metre below the surface.
     As the search progresses, the archaeologists intend to involve the public, and especially schools, in a community dig overseen by Worthing Archaeological Society. Archaeologists hope to find relics dating back almost 10,000 years to the Mesolithc period.

Source: The Argus (22 August 2008)

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