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Possible prehistoric bead is found in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 December 2010

Images of a gold personal ornament, probably a bead, believed to date to the late Bronze Age period

Images of a gold personal ornament, probably a bead, believed to date to the late Bronze Age period

Archant

A RARE piece of treasure which is believed to date back to pre-historic times could be the first find of its kind in Suffolk.

The British Museum said the gold personal ornament, which was found in Glemsford, near Sudbury, was an “important item”.

It is currently in the hands of the British Museum, which carried out the report into the object, but it could come home to Suffolk.

Janina Parol, assistant treasure registrar at the British Museum, said Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service and the British Museum were all interested in the ornament, which is thought to be from the Bronze Age.

In his report, Ben Roberts, curator of European Bronze Age at the British Museum, said: “The probable bead is very rare for Britain and Ireland though a necklace of similar beads from Ireland is in the British Museum.”

The ornament was classified as treasure at a treasure trove inquest in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Faye Minter, senior finds recording officer at Suffolk County Council, said it was discovered by Lindsey Holland, from Liverpool, who was at a metal detecting rally in cultivated land in Glemsford on September 25.

She said there had been some deliberation over its date, but the unusual object is believed to be late Bronze Age, from 1,100 to 800 BC.

The ornament, which is probably a bead, is cylindrical in shape with decoration across it.

Speaking after the inquest, Jude Plouviez, archaeological officer at Suffolk County Council, said: “I don’t think we have found anything similar in Suffolk for example. It is quite an unusual one.”

Miss Parol said if the local museums could not acquire the item, then it would remain at the British Museum.

No comment could be made on the value of the ornament as the valuation is yet to take place.

A rare silver Eadmund penny of early medieval date, which was found near Mildenhall, was also deemed to be treasure at yesterday’s inquest.

Miss Minter said it was found by metal detectorist Steve Foster on October 30 and he reported it to Suffolk County Council.

The coin, which is thought to be part of a previous hoard, dates to between 850 and 870.

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