Paignton Bronze Age copper ingots declared 'treasure'

  • andyb
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21 Mar 2014 13:35 - 21 Mar 2014 13:41 #459 by andyb
Herald Express 26 Sept 2013

BRONZE Age copper ingots found by a metal detector at Paignton have been officially declared treasure trove.

Archaeologists say the 3,000-year-old ingots (pictured) are an 'exciting' find and Torquay Museum hopes to be able to acquire the heavy lumps of copper, which look like green rocks.

The official treasure trove inquiry by South Devon coroner Ian Arrow heard how Alan Miller, of Paignton, was metal detecting with the farmer's permission in fields when he found the ingots.

The Herald Express has been asked not to publicise the exact site to protect it from treasure hunters.

Danielle Wootton, Devon's finds liaison officer, said: "They don't look very exciting but they are very interesting to archeologists."

The ingots will now be valued by the British Museum's treasure valuation team. The value will be split 50/50 by the finder and the farmer. But it is hoped they will donate the ingots to Torquay Museum.

Hal Bishop, Torbay Council's senior historic environment officer, said that previous ingots had been found less than a mile away and there was now a group of similar objects all found in the area.

He said: "Up until recent yeas only about five have been found in Devon and Cornwall."

The two ingots were found in the summer of 2011 by Mr Miller in fields near Churston on land owned by the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust.

Torbay Museum curator Barry Chandler said after the hearing: "They are really of great historical interest.

"There was a whole class of these objects that were practically invisible and suddenly in the last 20 years we have had a lot more appearing in this particular area. We now have about eight."

The treasure trove hearing was told that the copper would originally have been cast in a circular 'bun' shape which has then been broken into smaller fragments ready to be smelted to make weapons, tools and decorations.

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  • alanm
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21 Mar 2014 17:59 #463 by alanm
The farmer and I decided to donate them to the museum as they were only valued at £20 each and its nice to know they will remain close to the area they were recovered from :smile:

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