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Oldest Gold in Norfolk!!

Explorer II

January 27, 2012 01:14pm
Metal Detector Finds - 750-950 BC Norfolk Gold Bracelets - UK

After getting the chance to go detecting in the ‘gold rich’ fields of Norfolk I soon discovered it to be totally true!! My excitement was soon to be quashed when I was told the area had been ‘done to death’ for over ten years and by at least 100 other detectorists that week :(

Undeterred I set off across the first field, heading off following the line of the hedge, taking it slowly and listening for any faint signal. After 40 mins of finding the usual bits of lead and shot gun cartridge ends, I decided to head back for a much needed coffee, as I turned I got an ‘iffy’ signal. Since the sandy soil was nice and loose, I pushed some to one side with my boot and the signal improved but was still quiet.

I took out 2 good spadefuls of soil and the signal sang out loud and clear (not the piece of plough shear I had expected then!!), since the target was still in the centre, I made the hole larger, deeper, and at a depth of about 18” I turned out another large spadeful of soil, checked the hole, no signal, looked at the mound of spoil next to me and saw 4 copper coloured bracelets, all intertwined and as one. Unsure as to what exactly they were, I filled the hole in and went to find John.

I showed John 1 and he said “bicycle clip”, then I pulled out the other 3 and his reply is unprintable!! I showed the bracelets to the other guys from our campsite who were certain they were gold :) The rest of the day was spent searching other fields with the bracelets safe in my finds pouch but nothing else of interest came to light.

On the Sunday I once again headed for the same fields in order to make sure I had left nothing behind. After digging the hole out to a depth of approx 18” deep I widened it so my coil would easily fit in, bang! A signal off to the right slightly of the original bracelets.

I shouted Tony over saying “another one!!” I then located the exact position of the last 2 bracelets. I got the first out but other detectorists had wandered over, so, as it was a rally, I felt the find should be kept a secret until after the bracelets had been safely removed and recorded. So as John and Michiel loosened the soil from around the remaining bracelet, I scooped it out with a sleight of hand even Paul Daniels would have been proud of!!

Finally there were no more signals, silence, I declared “ it must’ve been iron” to the gathering crowd and started to fill the hole in. The guy closest to me, using another make of detector, said “ thank god I sold my Minelab, bloody useless” little did he know what was safely stowed away inside my pockets!!

We searched the surrounding area but found nothing connected to the bracelets but then I was in a day dream anyway wondering, why me? The old detecting adage came to mind “you’ve got to walk over it to find it” but I think using my trusty Explorer II gave me the edge :)

The bracelets have now been declared as treasure, purchased by the Norwich museum (who informed me that, to date, these bracelets are the oldest gold to be found in Norfolk and date to between 750 and 950bc) won me the Carolyn Hatt memorial trophy and really proved to me that Minelab machines just can't be beaten!!

Dave - Nottinghamshire, UK

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