Experts at London’s British Museum have confirmed they want to buy two early Bronze Age flat axes unearthed in a Silsden field by a hobby metal detectorist.
When Edward Hannon isn’t serving up burgers and chips in his job as a fast-food worker, he is out and about in all weather with his metal detector.
It was one day in July last year he and friend Sarah Coultous, 43, stopped off by chance at a farm near Silsden to try their luck at treasure hunting.
Mr Hannon is staying tight-lipped about the exact location to prevent illegal digging for other artefacts.
Today sees the launch of Lost Change, an innovative and experimental application that allows coins found within England and Wales and recorded through the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), to be visualised on an interactive, dual-mapping interface. This tool enables people to interrogate a huge dataset (over 300,000 coin records can be manipulated) and discover links between coins’ place of origin (the issuing mint or a more vague attribution if this location is uncertain) and where they were discovered and then subsequently reported to the PAS Finds Liaison Officers.
Fantastic new resource!
A metal detector enthusiast who has made more than 500 significant archaeological finds has been praised by the British Museum.
Tom Redmayne, from North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, has helped build a picture of the county with his finds.
British Museum data shows that Lincolnshire was one of the top three areas of the country for Portable Antiquities Scheme finds in 2012.
In its annual PAS report, the British Museum said: “His [Tom Redmayne’s] finds have been of a consistently high standard, and the information now produced is of great benefit to understanding the archaeological landscape of the Lincolnshire marsh region.
Amateur archaeologists with metal detectors found 990 items classified as treasure during 2012, according to figures from the British Museum.
All of the rare coins, rings and brooches contain gold or silver, and many date back more than 1,200 years.
The public reported more than 74,000 other historical items to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which experts say has “revolutionised archaeology”.
More than 900,000 objects have been reported since it started in 1997.
The verification process takes several months, which is why the items submitted in 2012 are only being detailed now.
Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said the scheme, which launched its annual report today, was “ensuring that finds found by ordinary members of the public are rewriting history.”
A Celtic treasure looted by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago has been discovered in the British Museum’s storerooms. An ornate, gilded disc brooch dating from the eighth or ninth century was found by chance and is being described as a “staggering find”. No-one knew of its existence until now.
It had been concealed in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway by a British archaeologist in the 1880s and acquired by the British Museum in 1891.
Curator Barry Ager, a Vikings specialist, was poring over artefacts before a visit from a Norwegian researching the Viking site when his eye was caught by some metal sticking out of the side of the organic lump.
Intrigued, he asked the conservation department to X-ray it. “At that stage, I really didn’t know what was inside,” he said. “It was a staggering find.”
A major new exhibition featuring Viking finds from North Yorkshire will take place at the British Museum next year.
Vikings: Life And Legend is the first major exhibition on Vikings to be held at the London museum for more than 30 years, and will include artefacts from the Vale of York alongside items from around the UK and Ireland, and the museum’s own collection.
The Vale of York Hoard, which was found by metal detectorists near Harrogate in 2007, will be shown in its entirety for the first time since it was found and jointly acquired by the British Museum and York Museums Trust.
The hoard includes 617 coins, six arm rings and a quantity of bullion and hack-silver, and is considered the largest and most important Viking hoard to be found since 1840’s Cuerdale Hoard, part of which will also will also be included in the exhibition.
The exhibition runs at the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery between March 6 and June 22 next year.