Oggetti consegnati al Museo da Detectorist

6 Awesome Treasure Hunt Finds by Amateurs

Arr, there be gold, Jim lad! Source

Treasure! The vaults of museums around the world are filled with precious antiquities, but who knows how many historical relics are still out there waiting to be discovered? If this list proves anything, it’s that anyone can strike it lucky… even you. So grab your shovel, your metal detector and get digging.


Buried in the field out back? Source

The advancement of modern technology has rendered the x-marked-map obsolete; the bulk of significant treasure finds are made by amateurs armed with nothing more than metal detectors, patience and a thermos flask. We’ve broken down the six largest UK finds of the past fifty years. Read closely and you may learn how to get your hands on your own share of the loot.

6. Treasure: Ringlemere Cup
Location: Sandwich, Kent
Year: 2001

Not exactly in mint condition. Source

One morning in a muddy field near Ringlemere, East Kent, metal detector hobbyist Cliff Bradshaw heard a tell tale beep. After some digging Mr Bradshaw unearthed an exquisite and rare gold chalice, now known as the Ringlemere Cup. It was only the second example of its type to come from Britain.

The first gold cup was discovered in 1837. Source

These gold vessels date from the very early Bronze Age (2300 BC – 4000 years ago). They are similar to examples found around the Mediterranean, suggesting connections between the Cornish and Greek peoples. The cup was purchased from Mr Bradshaw by the British Museum for £270,000. Quite the reward for one muddy mornings work.

Value: £270,000


5. Treasure: Fishpool Hoard
Location: Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire
Year: 1966

One of the beautiful gold and enamel brooches found in the Fishpool Hoard. Source

In 1966, workmen digging on a building site accidently uncovered the largest hoard of medieval coins ever found in Britain. This tremendous trove from the 15th century contained 1,237 gold coins, four rings, four pieces of jewellery, and two lengths of gold chain.

The Fishpool Horde in all its glory. Source

It is thought that the hoard was buried by someone fleeing from one of the early battles of the War of the Roses. The jewellery of the hoard is gold set with gems and enamel. These 15th century pieces are truly stunning. (High resolution photographs available here, here and here.

The heart-shaped brooch is engraved with the phrase “je suys vostre sans de partier” (I am yours wholly). This romantic hoard was purchased by the British Museum for around £300,000.

Value: £300,000


4. Treasure: Roman Coin Hoard
Location: Frome, Somerset
Year: 2010

Dirty money. Source

Dave Crisp was hoping, at best, to find a roman silver coin when he started searching in a farmer’s field near Frome. After a few hours fruitless sweeping he received a ‘funny signal’. That signal turned out to be one of the largest coin hordes ever found.

Crisp was overjoyed by his find. Source

During an emergency 3-day excavation over 52,000 Roman coins were found, amounting to an astounding half a million pounds in value. Unfortunately for Dave his entire find was confiscated by the Crown.

Value: £500,000


3. Treasure: Silverdale Hoard
Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Year: 2007

The appropriately named Silverdale Horde.Source

David Whelan and his son Andrew were metal detecting in a North Yorkshire field when, after receiving a strong signal, they discovered, hidden amongst scraps of iron, a finely engraved silver bowl. Upon realising its value a full-scale dig commenced which ultimately produced 617 silver coins and 65 other fine silver items.

This gold-lined silver bowl is over 1000 years old Source

Most of the items were made in France or Germany around 900 AD. They include ornaments, ingots and jewellery. The vessel in which they were hidden in is lined with gold and decorated with “vines, leaves and six hunting scenes showing lions, stags, and a horse”.

The horde was sold to the Yorkshire Museum, the Whelans and the landowners were left to split a cool 1 million pounds. (The local BBC news report can be found here.)

Value: £1,000,000


2. Treasure: Hoxne Hoard
Location: Hoxne, Suffolk
Year: 1992

The plastic display case was not found with the horde. Source

All the treasure troves so far have been found by metal detectors in search of treasure; this particular hoard was found by men in search of a lost hammer. Peter Whatling summoned his friend Eric Lawes to help him search for an errant tool. While searching in Peter’s field they uncovered silver spoons, gold jewellery and numerous coins.

Fashionable even by todays standards. Source

After a full excavation, over 15,000 roman coins and 200 other items were found, including very rare examples roman jewellery. Lawes received a finder’s fee of £1.75m which was shared equally between himself and his farmer friend.

This is the largest payment ever granted by the crown to a treasure hunter.

Value: £1,750,000


1. Treasure: King’s Ransom
Location: Lichfield, Staffordshire
Year: 2009

Select pieces from the 3,500 piece hoard. Source

The ancient city of Lichfield has many treasures: its cathedral, the home of Samuel Johnson… but few would expect it to hold the greatest treasure ever found on our small island. While exploring a local farmer’s field Terry Herbert discovered a veritable king’s ransom in Anglo-Saxon gold.

Three of the most valuable pieces of treasure ever found in the UK. Source

The hoard consists of approximately 3,500 pieces, comprising up to 5kg of gold and 1.3kg of silver. The gold items are some of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon art ever seen: finely wrought golden animals, betrothal rings and jasper sword hilts, a truly spectacular find. The horde was valued at approximately £3.26 million.

It was confiscated by the Crown and is currently held by the British Museum.

Value: £3,260,000

Salisbury Metal Detecting Finds To Be Displayed At Local Museum

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Metal Detecting couple Brian and Val Read are to have their Metal Detecting finds displayed at Salisbury museum. The couple have found the items over a 20 year period in the Deverill Valley near Warminster, and the finds include a Roman Bust, a medieval tag and a gilded medieval brooch.

Other items found by locals are also on display at Salisbury museum including a Bronze Age Sword, a medieval seal, a fragment of a Bronze Age Spear and a Roman bowl.Medieval Seal Salisbury

A spokesman for the Salisbury Museum said “Mr and Mrs Read have been working closely with the Portable Antiquities Scheme for the past 11 years, and have contributed greatly”.

The director of the museum Adrian Green expressed ” I’m delighted to have the opportunity to show just how important the work of some talented local metal detectorist’s have become.

Since Brian and Val began, their salisbury metal detecting finds and work have been invaluable to the understanding of the history of Wessex.

Unfortunately the exhibition is temporary and if you would like to view it then it will only be displayed in the museum’s new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology until the end of February 2015.

The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is a a charitable, non-profit organisation and relies solely on entry fees, grants and donations to support the members to continue the vital work. You can now make a small donation online to

A selection of objects found by a husband and wife metal detecting team over a 20-year period have gone on display at Salisbury Museum.

Objects found by Brian and Val Rees in the Deverill valley near Warminster, include a Roman bust, a medieval tag and gilded medieval brooch.

Other items found locally by members of the public are also on show, including a medieval seal and a Bronze Age sword.

A fragment of a Bronze Age spear and a Roman bowl are also on display.

A museum spokesman said Mr and Mrs Rees had been working closely with the Portable Antiquities Scheme for the past 11 years.

The scheme was set up in 1997 to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public.

Museum director Adrian Green said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to show just how important the work of some talented local detectorists has become.

“Since they’ve been co-operating with the scheme, their work has contributed enormously to our understanding of the history of Wessex.”

The temporary exhibition will be on show in the museum’s new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology until the end of February.

Hooked Tag showing eagle, possibly symbolising St John the Baptist
Image caption This early medieval hooked tag shows an eagle stretching its wings and talons, and is made from copper alloy with silver plate inlaid with niello.
The Sub-Deanery Seal Matrix
Image caption This pointed oval seal matrix from the sub deanery of Salisbury, made from copper-alloy between AD 1300 to AD 1400, was donated by an individual who found it whilst gardening in Laverstock
Bronze Age Sword
Image caption The hilt of this Ewart Park Phase sword was broken during the late Bronze Age. A section of the blade was hammered flat to create a makeshift hilt so that the sword could continue being used.

VIDEO: Watch The Moment A Huge Treasure Was Unearthed! (Seaton Down Hoard)

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One of the largest discoveries of Roman Coins in Britain was made by a metal detector enthusiast in Devon. A campaign by the local museum was quickly launched to purchase the incredible coins for the nation.

The British Museum announced the find on Friday the 26th of September 2014 and is calling it the Seaton Down Hoard. The hoard of coins was made up of approximately 22,000 coins of which dated back over 1700 years, and is officially the fifth largest discovery in Britain.

The detectorist’s name was Laurence Egerton who is 51 years old and a semi retired builder who resides in East Devon. He first discovered 2 two tiny ancient coins, about the size of a thumbnail near the surface of a field last year in November.Metal Detector finds Seaton Down Hoard

After he continued to dig deeper, his shovel returned FULL of the copper coins he quoted “They just spilled out all over the field it was an exciting moment. I had found a few Roman coins before but never so many together”

Laurence called in experts and watched in amazement as archaeologists unearthed thousands more, which were buried about a foot deep. Laurence Egerton was that concerned about his discovery and where it was found that he protected the site by sleeping in his care for three nights until the dig was over.

He told sources “It’s by far the biggest find I’ve ever had. It does not get any better. It is very important to record finds like these properly because it is so easy to lose important insights into our history” He found the coins near the Honeyditches site where a Roman villa had already been previously excavated.

The local county archaeologist Bill Horner, at the County Council of Devon said “We realized the significance and got a team together as quick as we could.” He also said “The coins were in fantastic condition, coming out of the ground you could see the portraits on the coins, a family tree of House Constantine.”

The coins have been lightly cleaned over the previous ten months, cataloged, researched and identified at the museum, there is still lots more work to do. The coins vary in age from 260 AD to around 350 AD. The coins feature a range of portraits, and described it as a “family tree of the House of Constantine”.

The Museum described the size of the find as “remarkable”, and continued to state that it was “one of the largest hoards eve found within the whole Roman Empire”. It is officially the fifth largest find in Britain, the Cunetio Hoard being the largest consisting of 55,000 coins. The Cunetio hoard was unearthed near Mildenhall, Wiltshire in 1978.Laurence Egerton Seaton Down Hoard

It has been said that the coins that have been found in the Seaton Down hoard would not have been very valuable at the time, the experts also estimated that they would have equaled four gold coins, which is equivalent to a workers average pay for two years of work.

The Royal Albert Art Gallery, and Memorial Museum located in Exeter are hoping to raise the money to purchase the collection and have made an appeal to the public for donations.

The hoard discovery has yet to be valued, but sources say that the Seaton Down Hoard would be valued at less than £100,000. This will be split between Laurence Egerton and Clinton Devon Estates, the landowners.

One of the coins is said to be particularly special, as it marks the millionth find of the PAS (Portable Antiquities Scheme, which was set up in 1997 to provide records of discoveries made by the general public.

The PAS is managed by the British Museum and is funded by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport’s grant-in-aid to the institution.

They had been sat waiting for the millionth find to come along and Neil MacGregor said “then 22,000 come all at once”

The millionth find coin called a nummus, was struck by Constantine the Great and celebrated the inauguration of the new city of Constantinople, now known as Istanbul.

Since 1997 a total of 500 Roman coin hoards have been discovered in Britain, and the scheme has been set up to keep record of all the finds made by metal detectors and enthusiasts. It provides a resource for scholars to study.

The British Museum said “recording the finds has revolutionized the knowledge of battlefields, including Naseby in 1645 and the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 where King Richard the III was to meet his death. They discovered the silver-gilt boar badge which in turn helped pinpoint this site as the place he died.


Metal detectorist finds Britain’s biggest ever haul of Viking treasure – with hundreds of artefacts including an ancient silver crossarticle-2336423-1A295DCD000005DC-958_634x713


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