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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 August, 2004, 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK
Grant funds archaeology database
The Ringlemere Cup found in Kent
A Bronze Age gold cup was found in Ringlemere, east Kent
Archaeological discoveries made across Kent are to be listed on a database to be paid for with lottery cash.

Details of more than 20,000 finds, ranging from shipwrecks and coins to Roman villas and medieval castles are stored at County Hall in Maidstone.

Now a database and website are being set up for the public and schools to use - current records at Maidstone are used mainly by planners and academics.

Kent County Council has been given 177,000 lottery cash for the project.

Practical archaeology

The authority said it will take three years to set up the computer systems as part of a project called Exploring Kent's Past.

The planned website will have special links for topics such as Roman Kent and the county during World War II.

People will also be able to get more involved in practical archaeology, the council said.

Michael Houghton, Heritage Lottery Fund regional manager, said: "The wealth of knowledge about Kent's history can be opened up to people who may have never had the chance to learn about the heritage which belongs to them."

Rare finds

In 2001, a rare gold cup from the Bronze Age was found at Ringlemere, east Kent and seen as evidence of trading networks across Europe at that time - the cup was later virtually reconstructed at the British Museum.

The county is also home to the Lullingstone Roman Villa, built in 100 AD and rediscovered in the 1930s.

English Heritage is currently trying to trace anyone involved in digs at the site between 1949 and 1961 to put up a plaque marking their work.

The villa was extended throughout the Roman occupation and its mosaic tiled floors, wall paintings and bath complex can still be seen.

British Museum's rare cup coup
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