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Golden find is 4,000 years old

Hmmm, I wonder how much more has been found and not reported?
A day's metal detecting has unearthed an unexpected treasure - a 4,000-year-old piece of gold.

The ornamental piece of gold is only the second piece to ever be found in the UK and the first to be discovered in Dorset.

It was found by Clive Gibbs and his metal detector in a ploughed field in Fontmell Magna in November 2002.

The precious metal has a gold content of 87 per cent and although it can't be identified with total certainty, may have come from Ireland or France.

Claire Pinder, senior archaeologist at Dorset County Council, said: "One side of the strip is decorated with thin lines, the other side is quite plain.

"It's meant to be decorative, maybe it would have been set into something like a wooden object or wrapped around clothing.

"It could also have been part of an earring or twisted into someone's hair, we just don't know.

"It probably belonged to someone wealthy or of high status. It looks flimsy but is very heavy because of its high gold content."

The only other similar piece to be found in Britain was discovered in Oxford and sent to the British Museum in 1982.

The gold is the most significant find in Dorset recently but treasure seekers have enjoyed a run of success.

John Hinchcliffe, of Tarrant Hinton, was metal detecting on farm land at Charlton Marshall last December when he discovered a medieval silver finger ring, engraved with flowers and bearing a merchant's mark.

And Julian Adams unearthed six Roman coins on land at Melcombe Horsey last October.

All three items were officially declared "treasure" by coroner Michael Johnston at an inquest this week and are awaiting valuation.

Published: May 21
Jane Posted by Jane
21st May 2004ce
Edited 10th February 2006ce

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