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Archive for September 5th, 2010

THESE beautiful Bronze Age gold bracelets are the highlights of finds at the site of a new road.

The bracelets, nearly 3,000 years old, were spotted lying on top of a pile of earth dug up from a trench.

Archaeologists are digging on the site of the planned road near Ramsgate, Kent, before builders move in

The bracelets are among 10,000 finds unearthed so far.

The dig on the East Kent Access Road on the Isle of Thanet between Ramsgate and Sandwich is the biggest archaeological excavation in the country this year, involving 150 archaeologists supported by 91 volunteers. It has revealed a huge amount about how people were living on the Isle of Thanet from earliest times.

The remains of prehistoric burial monuments, Iron Age enclosures and a village which would have seen the Roman invasion are among the remarkable discoveries made by the dig, now almost complete.

Simon Mason, Kent County Council’s principal archaeological officer, found the bracelets, dating back to around 700BC.

He said: “It was incredible – a really exciting find. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them. It’s the first time I have found gold in 20 or 30 years as an archaeologist. “They looked too good to be real. When we washed them and cleaned them we realised they were something special.”

It is thought they were child­ren’s bracelets that may have been buried as a worship offering. They were found together, one pushed inside the other.

There is evidence of a Bronze Age settlement on the find site, and five hoards of bronze objects of a similar age have been found in the same area. Mr Mason added: “Their real value to me as an archaeologist is how they contribute to the story we are putting together from our excavations on the road.

“With all the thousands of everyday objects we have dug up they are really helping to shed new light on the lives of prehistoric, Roman and Saxon people in Thanet.”

Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick from Oxford Wessex Archaeology said: “The gold bracelets are stunning.”

The Portable Antiquities Scheme

Frome Silver denarius of Carausius 286-93 Adventus (13 3) Composite image

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. Every year many thousands of objects are discovered, many of these by metal-detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our past.

This website provides background information on the Portable Antiquities Scheme, news articles, events listings and access to our database of objects and images.

The Treasure Act

All finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same findspot, which are over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Now prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1st January 2003 also qualify as Treasure. This website provides further information for finders of potential Treasure

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