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Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 20:00 GMT
Saxon jewellery bought by museum
The artefact
The artefact needed no cleaning when it came out of the ground
A small piece of Saxon jewellery unearthed in Kent has been bought by Maidstone museum.

The gold and garnet artefact measures about an inch (2.5cm) and was found near Maidstone using a metal detector.

Giles Guthrie, from the museum, said: "It's very high status. I haven't seen this kind of material cropping up in Kent before."

The piece, which was made during the 6th Century, is expected to be on show at Maidstone Museum next week.

600-year rule

Mr Guthrie said the man who discovered the artefact in 2005 told him it came out of the ground untarnished and needed no cleaning.

"He just lightly dusted it off to get a bit of dry dirt off," he said.

The item is thought to be a section of a larger piece of jewellery or part of a buckle.

The Saxons ruled England for 600 years, forming the basis of its culture, language and borders.


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