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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 16:25 GMT
Field discovery declared treasure
James Balme
James Balme has spent a decade researching the area
A piece of metal uncovered in a field in Cheshire has been revealed as an ancient Roman bracelet.

Amateur archaeologist James Balme, from Glazebrook, near Warrington, uncovered the artefact in a field in the nearby village of Warburton.

The bracelet, which is in the shape of a serpent, was declared as treasure trove by Stockport Coroner John Pollard at an inquest on Thursday.

It means the 2,000-year-old bracelet now belongs to the Crown.

What happens now is the snake will be valued and obviously there is a reward for finding it
James Balme

The coroner recommended the bracelet go on display at Warrington Museum.

Mr Balme said: "There are many days I've been out and spent seven or eight hours and found nothing, absolutely nothing.

"But within an hour of arriving on this field this came out of the ground.

"What happens now is the snake will be valued and obviously there is a reward for finding it."
Roman bracelet
The bracelet is in the shape of a serpent

The British Museum will value the item and split the money, which could run into thousands of pounds, between the archaeologist and the landowner.

Mr Balme has spent about a decade researching the area around the village of Warburton, uncovering evidence of a Roman settlement.

English, Welsh and Northern Irish archaeological finds which constitute "treasure" must be reported to the local coroner under the Treasure Act 1996.

Metallic objects made up of at least 10% gold or silver which are at least 300 years old are classed as treasure.

James Balme found the bracelet within an hour

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