A THREE thousand year old hoard of Broze Age gold discovered last year in Urswick has been declared treasure.
At a treasure inquest held today (24) at Barrow Town Hall the story behind the discovery of the precious collection unfolded. In April 2017 metal detectorists John Rigg and Darren Fine unearthed an extraordinary piece of ancient Furness history. A gold bracelet, three golden lock rings and a piece of a copper cauldron dating back three thousand years have shed like on what life was like in south Cumbria for those living almost three millennia ago.
Presiding over the inquest, assistant coroner Paul O’Donnell, said: “Clearly the find of such an item in Urswick opens up a new line of in inquiry into Bronze Age settlements this far north west. This is of significant interest to archaeologists and historians alike.”
The items found were a pennacular bracelet 68mm in diameter, and three golden lock rings, which are only 34mm in diameter. Experts believe they date from between 1000BC to 800BC. Historians believe lock rings may have been used as earrings or to decorate strands of hair. Their use has also been associated with wealthy and important members of Bronze Age communities.
Under the Treasure Act 1996 any item of gold or silver or groups of coins more than 300 years old have to be reported to authorities within 14 days of their discovery. An inquest will then be held to determine if they are treasure, and if so, they can be acquired by the British Museum for its collection. Pieces are valued with their amount being split 50/50 between the land owner and those who found it.