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Home   Kent   News   Article

Metal detector find dates back 1,500 years

18 August 2008
The 1,500 year gold pendant which has been declared treasure trove

The 1,500 year gold pendant which has been declared treasure trove

When a Kent metal detecting enthusiast found something in a field of stubble he thought it looked interesting...and he was right!

The gold pendant he discovered dated back more than 1,500 years and has been declared treasure trove.

Fork lift truck driver Andy Sales, from Deal, found the ancient artefact near Worth.

A coroner has declared the item treasure trove after an expert from the British Museum examined and dated it to between 491-518 AD.

In his report to the hearing, the curator in early medieval coinage, Dr Gareth Williams, said it was a gold tremissis bearing the image of the Byzantine emperor, Anastasius the First.

But he said the coin was actually not Byzantine but a later visogothic imitation.

Mr Sales, 43, has been metal detecting for 25 years.

He said: "I have found all sorts of stuff including Roman and Saxon broaches and coins but nothing that has been declared treasure trove before. I still don't know if it's of any great value."

Factfile:

• Treasure trove are artefacts found buried or secreted which are at least 300 years old;

• They should also have a precious metal content (gold or silver) of at least 10 per cent. They can be single items or a hoard of coins, for example;

• A coroner determines whether an item or items should be declared treasure trove after taking expert advice. If it is, it becomes the property of the Crown;

• Such items are then offered to the British Museum or the National Museums and Galleries of Wales and valued;

• If one of them wishes to purchase it, the value is divided between the finder and landowner. If not, the item is returned to the finder.

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