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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 00:41 GMT 01:41 UK
Novice tells of Bronze Age find
A gold lock ring, a spearhead blade, a socketed axe head and a bracelet found by John Minns
John Minns found the items shortly after he started metal detection
A metal-detecting novice who unearthed an "extremely important" hoard of Bronze Age artefacts has said his discovery was due to "sheer luck".

John Minns, from Arbroath, Angus, made the find during a holiday near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, in 2005, just after starting his hobby.

The hoard includes gold hair rings, bracelets, weapons and a bronze razor.

It is going on display at Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities until the end of June.

It is intended that it will be exhibited to the public permanently from 2009 at the forthcoming Great North Museum.

A Bronze Age razor - the first to be found in the county - was among the objects discovered.

Hoards from the late Bronze Age containing such a variety of objects in such good condition are very rare in the north of England
Lindsay Allason-Jones
Newcastle University

This suggests men living in the area between about 1000 and 800BC were clean-shaven.

Gold lock rings, thought to have been hair decorations, as well as bracelets, rings, pins and axe heads were also found after Mr Minns was given permission by a local farmer to take the detector on to his land.

Mr Minns said: "The only reason I found the hoard was that I got a nice signal from the detector, but when I dug away the soil, all I found was a yoghurt pot with a foil lid."

However, his discovery arose after he re-checked the hole and discovered an axe-head.

Lindsay Allason-Jones, director of Archaeological Museums at Newcastle University, said: "Hoards from the late Bronze Age containing such a variety of objects in such good condition are very rare in the north of England, so this is an extremely important find."

And, on the issue of how the objects came to be buried together, she added: "It is hard to know whether it was meant as an offering to a deity, or whether it might have been a Bronze Age founder's hoard, which the owner hid, intending to come back for it later."

Mold gold cape finally comes home
26 Sep 05 |  North East Wales
Treasure hunters hit jackpot
05 May 04 |  North East Wales
Fresh Bronze Age treasure find
04 Mar 04 |  North East Wales


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