Friday, January 12, 2007

'Priceless' Roman find in farmer's field

Source: Manchester Eveing News

Gary Skentelbery

A RARE solid silver Roman bracelet unearthed in a farmer's field has been declared treasure trove.

The snake-shaped ornament could be the only one of its kind in the world, making it priceless, it was revealed at a Stockport coroner's hearing.

Archaeologist James Balme didn't even need his metal detector to make the discovery, gleaming in the soil in the field at Lymm near Warrington.

The ancient jewellery will now be valued by a panel of experts at the British Museum in London.

Warrington Museum has already expressed an interest in displaying the item and James will consider selling it - if the price is right.

He will share the proceeds with farmer Tony Cookson, who owns the land on which James made his important find. James, who says it is impossible to put a value on the find, has previously discovered an unknown Roman fort and numerous prehistoric sites in the area, where he has recovered large quantities of prehistoric flint tools and weapons.

All his finds have been recorded by the portable antiquities scheme, the official body working in conjunction with the British Museum.

His discovery has provided new, exciting information about the wealth and social standing of the Roman citizens who lived and farmed in the area almost 2,000 years ago.

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