BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Entertainment: Arts  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Film
Music
TV and Radio
Showbiz
Arts
Reviews
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Ancient treasures go on display
Lisa Voden-Decker, an employee of the British Museum displays a Bronze Age Torc
Gold Bronze Age torcs were found in Milton Keynes
Hoards of ancient jewellery found by amateur treasure-hunters with metal detectors are being unveiled by the British Museum, where many of them will be put on display.

The finds, some of which are more than 3,000 years old, were dug up in fields across the UK by enthusiasts before being offered for sale to museums.

People with metal detectors
There is a thriving detecting scene in the UK
They include gold and silver necklaces, brooches and bracelets worth more than 650,000 from the Bronze and Iron ages.

The display is intended to show that a change to the law has allowed more treasures to be saved for the nation and put on public show.

It brings together the most important finds in the UK in the year 2000, including a collection of gold jewellery discovered in a farmer's field near Winchester, Hampshire, which is worth 350,000.

It was hailed as one of the most significant Iron Age discoveries of the last 50 years.

Two gold Bronze Age gold torcs, or necklaces, and three gold bracelets that were found near Milton Keynes and are worth 290,000 are also on show.

Profit

An ancient burial site near Shillington, Bedfordshire, yielded an Iron Age silver brooch and bronze mirror with Celtic designs, worth 35,000.

A change in the law in 1996 means treasure-hunters are now more likely to report finds, and therefore give museums the chance to purchase them, the government says.

Before the change, it was difficult for those who made the discovery to make money out of it through official avenues because finds of gold and silver more than 300 years old are "Treasure Trove" and ultimately belong to the Crown.

But the revision meant that if a discovery was reported, it would be offered for sale to museums with the proceeds usually split between the finder and the owner of the land on which the treasure was found.

Benefits

"The Treasure Act has clearly been a success," Arts Minister Tessa Blackstone said.

"It has led to more finds being offered to museums, which benefits the public, and has increased the knowledge of artefacts and where they can be found around the country."

Ms Blackstone was launching the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's annual Treasure Report, which said 221 finds were reported in 2000, compared with an average of 24 per year before the law was changed.

Further changes to encompass prehistoric base-metal objects should be in place by January 2003, she said.

See also:

07 Aug 02 | Wales
01 Aug 02 | England
05 Apr 02 | England
06 Feb 02 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Arts stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes