Late Bronze Age Blythburgh hoard declared a Treasure

Hundreds of metal fragments were found along with pieces of pottery

A Late Bronze Age hoard containing sword and spear fragments has been declared a treasure, although it has none of “the stereotypical ‘shiny gold’ things that we usually see on the news”.

The pieces were found by a detectorist in a field in Blythburgh in Suffolk in March 2019 and are more than 2,000 years old.

Fragments of “metalworking debris” and pieces of pottery were found together.

Finds liaison officer Anna Booth said it was of “great archaeological value”.

Ms Booth, from Suffolk County Council, said: “The find is interesting because it is a fairly large group, contains material from the Middle to Late Bronze Age and, unlike most Bronze Age hoards, does not contain axes and spearheads, but rather Pieces of swords and the chape [protectors] from scabbards.”

In his report to the coroner, Dr. Edward Caswell, the Oxfordshire Finds Officer: ‘The objects were found in close proximity and are associated and therefore constitute a single find all appearing to have been deposited in the Late Bronze [Age].

“As such, this constitutes a collection of more than two base metal (base) objects of prehistoric date and consequently qualifies as a treasure under the provisions of the Treasure Act 1996 (Designation Order 2002).”

The treasure, which has not yet been appraised and dates to 1050-800 BC. Dated to B.C., contains more than 300 fragments of what Dr.

Bronze Age hoard laid out on the table

The hundreds of items have been carefully examined and catalogued

Ms Booth said: “While it doesn’t fit the ‘treasure’ stereotype, it still has great archaeological value.

“Bronze Age hoards are often reported under the Treasure Act and this helps us develop a much deeper understanding of when, where and why they were deposited.

“For a long time archaeologists thought they were just groups of scrap metal hidden for recycling, but we’re beginning to see patterns in the way they were deposited, suggesting that deeper, more ritualistic things may also be at play.” go.”

The treasure was “a great example of how the most interesting material isn’t always the stereotypical ‘shiny gold’ things we usually see on the news,” Ms Booth said.

She said the Halesworth Museum was hoping to acquire the treasure to add to its collections.

“They have already acquired a large Iron Age gold hoard from this area and this will be a nice addition to their growing collection of prehistoric material if they can proceed with the acquisition,” she said.

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