82272 discoveries made in UK by public last year

According to the Portable Antiquities Scheme annual report launched at the British Museum, over 82000 discoveries were made by members of the public, mostly by people who were metal-detecting, in the United Kingdom.

Golden belt (by PA via Daily Express)
Gold torc from Cambridgeshire (by PA via Daily Express)

Since 1997, more than 1.2 million finds have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, managed by the British Museum with local and national partners. Last year, more than a thousand discoveries were made in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year. Majority of the finds were found on cultivated land where they are normally at risk of damage due to ploughing and corrosion. One of the largest and most spectacular finds is a Bronze Age gold torc found in Cambridgeshire, dating from 1100 to 1300 BC. Torcs were normally worn around the neck, but this one, weighing 732g, is too large to fit a person’s waist and may have been designed to be worn over thick winter clothing or by a prized animal in the course of a sacrifice.

Saxon escutcheon (by Derek Marti via Worthing Herald)
Saxon escutcheon (by Derek Marti via Worthing Herald)

One of the best national finds of last year was a rare 7th century escutcheon that ranks among the finest examples ever found. Originally it would have been mounted on a bowl and used to hold a chain that hung from the ceiling. The discovery is notable for the use of millefiori glasswork to create swirling patterns. Only 12 others like it that have been found, including the famous bowl from the Sutton Hoo burial.

Silver coin clippings (by PA via Daily Express)
Silver coin clippings (by PA via Daily Express)

Another notable treasure is in form of a large rare hoard of 463 silver coin clippings and fragments from Gloucestershire. It is believed the hoard was buried around the time of the “great recoinage” in 1696, when all pre-1662 hand-struck coinage was recalled and turned into machine-struck coins. The clippings show the complete removal of the inscription from the coins, which include half-crowns, shillings and sixpences dating from 1554 to 1662.

(after PA, Derek Marti, Daily Express & Worthington Herald)

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