Ancient finds uncovered at Norwich inquest

A medieval silver brooch and a Bronze Age collection of axe heads were among the items declared treasure at an inquest held in Norwich.

In total, the tales of six groups of valuable artefacts from ages past and how they were found were told at yesterday's inquest.

Among the hoard was a collection of 14 socketed axes, which were disturbed by machine from their site of rest on land near Aylsham, the owner of which is Lord Walpole.

The axes all date to the Ewart Park metalwork phase reaching back further than 800BC, and were discovered in March by Robert and James Alston who were using a metal detector at the time.

Also discussed and designated treasure was a silver medieval brooch from near Northwald made in the design of two intertwined snakes, which was found in May last year by Steven Gray who was metal detecting.

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Dating back to the 13th century, it had nicks to represent scales, as well as detail including eyes, mouth and ears.

Michael Carlile was another person to make a fortunate discovery while using a metal detector, this time in Emneth near Wisbech in April last year.

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He came across a medieval silver hooked strap end and at the inquest it was said to be dated around the 15th century, while in August 2010 Stratton Strawless was the site for the discovery of an incomplete medieval silver seal-matrix by James Normandi.

Another item reported was a medieval silver-gilt dress fitting cast in the form of a bird discovered in Swannington 12 years ago by Mr Embrey, while an early medieval silver ingot was discovered this year by Paul Brannan near Hemsby on land owned by Peter Starling.

If a finds liaison officer, museum curator or archaeologist believes that the find is treasure, they will contact the British Museum, or the National Museums and Galleries of Wales. They then decide if they or any other museum wants to acquire it from the Crown.

•Have you made a valuable find? Contact reporter John Owens on 01603 772439.

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