Metal detector unearths Iron Age skeleton and jewellery


Share post:

A TREASURE hunter from Weymouth unearthed an Iron Age grave containing a skeleton of a woman and a number of her belongings. 

The woman’s skeleton [Credit: Dorset Echo]

An inquest into the treasure, which was discovered by Carl Walmsley of Westham, heard how a total of 14 items were found in the grave on land near Portesham. 

West Dorset coroner Michael Johnston declared that the items, including a mirror, two brooches, a bronze amulet, a coin, tweezers and a number of glass and stone beads, were treasure at the inquest held at Dorset County Hall. 

Mr Johnston said that the items, which were discovered on April 27 last year, dated from between 15BC to AD50-60 and were found in a Durotrigian type grave. 

At the inquest, senior archaeologist at Dorset County Council Claire Pinder, said the skeleton which was lying in a foetal position in the grave was of a woman. 

She said: “It’s likely the lady was buried with her belongings and she was probably a woman of some status. 

“The beads in particular are very striking and unusual and would probably have been a necklace she was wearing. My suspicion is that the mirror is very rare. This really is an exciting and an unusual find.” 

Miss Pinder confirmed that Dorset County Museum had expressed an interest in acquiring the items. 

Treasure hunter Mr Walmsley, 44, who was present at the inquest, said it was exciting to see the items he found declared as treasure. 

Mr Walmsley, who has been metal detecting for more than 25 years after his father introduced him to the hobby, said: “This is the best thing I’ve ever found by far. 

“The mirror was the main thing – there has only been two of its kind found in the county and only 30 in the country. You find items and you’re not sure who they belong to, but to find the grave of a person with their belongings is just amazing. I wasn’t even dreaming that it could be anything like that.” 

He added: “I knew it was going to be declared as treasure but it was still really good to be at the inquest. It’s not just about finding the treasure, it’s nice to follow it through. It’s doing it the right way. I’m trying to bring metal detecting and archaeologists together for a change. I’d urge more metal detectors to do it that way and hand over the treasures they find. It’s nice for everybody to get to see it.” 

Mr Walmsley said that Dorset County Museum has expressed an interest in the items.  

Author: Lucy Pearce | Source: Dorset Echo [June 03, 2011]



Related articles

Egyptian mummies at National Archaeological Museum of Greece to be scanned

Mummies from the Collection of Egyptian Antiquities of the National Archaeological Museum of Greece (NAM) are on their...

Cambridge University project on rare Sanskrit manuscripts

Some 2,000 rare Sanskrit manuscripts detailing momentous political and economic events across south Asia and written on fragile...

New study sheds light on global warming trends

New research by a team of Florida State University scientists shows the first detailed look at global land...

Solar activity not a key cause of climate change

Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a new scientific study...

Scientists discover vast undersea freshwater reserves

Australian researchers said Thursday they had established the existence of vast freshwater reserves trapped beneath the ocean floor...

1,500 year old livestock stable found in Israel

A structure that was apparently used as a livestock stable in the Byzantine period was recently revealed in...

Historic ruins found in Russia

A Buddhist temple, or rather its ashes, have been discovered by archeologists in the Primorsky Region, in the...

‘Secret square’ discovered beneath Avebury stone circle

Archaeologists have found a striking and apparently unique square monument beneath the world famous Avebury stone circle in...