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23 November 2008
Suffolk 'best for buried treasure'

Suffolk and Norfolk are among the best places to find buried treasure in England, a new report has revealed. Hundreds of ancient objects have been unearthed by metal detecting enthusiasts in the two counties over recent years, according to the British Museum's latest annual commissioned report. Amongst the most notable local finds reported are 11 Bronze Age hoards at Copdock, near Ipswich, in January 2006.
     Andrew Brown, the finds liaison officer for Suffolk, who is based with the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, said it was the rural nature of the two counties that was leading to more treasure being unearthed. He said: "Suffolk and Norfolk are quite a productive area, partly to do with being a big rural landscape compared to other areas. And we have always had a long standing relationship with people who do metal detecting."
     The Copdock find in 2006 was one of 48 treasures uncovered in that year in Suffolk and was initially hit upon by a metal detector enthusiast, who contacted the county's archaeological service. An excavation from a small oval shaped pit revealed a total of 56 objects dating to the Late Bronze Age (c.1000-800 BCE). The finds included numerous copper alloy ingots, at least five socketed axe heads, a cauldron/bucket fragment, as well as a leaf-shaped dagger, axe heads and metal working debris.
     The Treasure Act has also seen a 10-fold increase in the amount of treasure items offered to museums. Culture Minister Barbara Follett, who is also the minister for the East of England, said: "The treasures of the past that are found in the fields, farms and fells across the United Kingdom are vital pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of our history. They help us to understand the origins and development of our culture and identity."
     To report a find to the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service call 01284 352449 or email archaeology@et.suffolkcc.gov.uk.

Source: EADT24 (21 November 2008)

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