24 November 2008

Iron Age torc discovered

A metal detector enthusiast discovered a 2,000-year-old golden neckband worth £350,000 while out looking for bits of Second World War aircraft.

Archaeologists believe the torc... was made by the Iceni tribe, once headed by Boudica, which had its power base in present-day East Anglia.... described the Newark torc as "probably the most significant find of Iron Age Celtic gold jewellery made in the last 50 years".

It was buried in a pit in a similar fashion to its East Anglian counterparts, "possibly as an offering to the gods. It shows an incredibly high level of technological skill in working the metal and a really high level of artistry. It is an extraordinary object."
My posts mocking bureaucratic ineptitude often arise from stories in the U.K., but I have to give that country credit for an enlightened approach to the handling of ancient treasure finds. In most countries such discoveries find their way into a black market and into private hands away from public view or academic study. Not so in the U.K.:
He made £175,000 when he sold it to Newark and Sherwood District Council, under a provision of the Treasure Act 1996 that ensures the finder receives half its estimated value. The land owner got the other half... "Since the implementation of the Treasure Act in 1996 - which ruled that finders and landowners will be eligible for rewards for finds - museums have reported a ten-fold increase in the treasure items offered to them."

1 comment:

  1. A sensible government policy on archaeological treasure finds and a Council enterprising enought to raise the funds to keep the find in the local area - maybe that puts your line on bureaucratic ineptitude into perspective?


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