| 7 May 2004
Late Bronze Age treasure hoard unearthed in Surrey
The ancient stash, which includes two axe heads and the end of a sword scabbard, was discovered at Norbury Park (Surrey, England) on December 9 2003, but only came to light at an inquest last week. The find, which was made by metal detectionist Martin Hay was uncovered on land belonging to Surrey County Council. At the inquest opened by Surrey coroner Michael Burgess in Woking, the court heard how the treasures were submitted to Surrey finds liaison officer, David Williams, who took them to the British Museum. Mr Burgess explained: "This was a small hoard of three complete bronze objects."
He went on to determine that the prehistoric artefacts of "agricultural origin" were found approximately 400 metres from the west bank of the River Mole. Mr Burgess said: "They were two palstave axes and a scabbard chape and all three were made of bronze." He said the weapons date back to the Wilburton Stage of the late Bronze Age from 1150 to 900 BCE. They are regarded as treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 and Mr Burgess concluded: "These three artefacts should be considered as treasure and it is up to the Crown as to what to do with them."
The discovery follows an archaeological dig which helped unearth a Saxon burial site near Denbies in Dorking, containing skeletons of ancient chiefs complete with swords and shields. Asked about the find, Mr Williams said: "The important thing about it is there are not that many Bronze Age hoards in Surrey, but they do turn up from time to time. The importance of this one is that we have got two axes of slightly different types found together contemporaneously. The excavation gave a context for the hoard, which was buried on purpose as some sort of votive offering." He added: "It will now go to the treasure valuation committee who will decide a value."
Mr Williams said the British Museum and Guildford Museum had declared an interest in the find, but it was ultimately up to the landowners to decide what they want to do with the treasure.
Source: ic SurreyOnline (6 May 2004)
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