Man discovers Roman silver ring after 15 years of looking for treasure
After 15 years’ searching in the soil, a Suffolk metal detectorist finally unearthed a piece of genuine Roman treasure.
Kevin Cracknell, who lives near Framlingham, discovered a silver ring, dating back to 200-300AD, while detecting in a field near Cretingham in October last year.
His find was one of 11 items deemed as treasure at an inquest in Ipswich on Wednesday, November 28.
Faye Minter, senior archaeological officer for Suffolk, told the inquest the ring was similar to another discovered in Somerset last year but was special as it had the initials “DM” inscribed on the base.
She said it was likely that the ring belonged to a local leader rather than a Roman.
“It belonged to someone who had become Romanised as it were,” she said.
Mr Cracknell said he was thrilled to find the ring after years of searching.
He said: “I have found general bits, coins and the odd thimble but nothing like this.
“This was a real eye-opener.
“When I first found it I thought it was just a signet ring, that it had come off a farmer’s finger.
“It is amazing to think you are the first person to pick it up since someone wore it hundreds of years ago.”
Mr Cracknell said his hobby had become more difficult recently as more a people are taking it up, inspired by hit TV show Detectorists, whose stars stay in Framlingham when filming in Suffolk.
He said some newcomers do not ask landowners before detecting and do not treat the land with respect.
“It gives all of us a bad name,” he said.
“Farmers get annoyed by it and won’t want to put up with it.
“I came here to the inquest today just to hear about the ring’s history. It would nice if it went to a museum so other people get the chance to see it.”
Among the other treasure items at the inquest were a fragment of a gold pendant discovered near Rendlesham, believed to be between 550 and 600 years old, a fifth century gold Anglo Saxon belt stud believed to belong to an “elite member of Anglo Saxon society”, and a gold Roman Intaglio ring with a carved cornelian gem, thought to be used as a seal.
Mrs Minter said museums had showed interest in obtaining all 11 treasure items.