Casual treasure hunters have always dreamt of finding something of great value, but most have to be content with broken nails and rusting beer cans. But that fact changed for treasure-hunter David Spohr, who managed to unearth an extremely rare necklace.
The necklace belonging to the Bronze Age is one of the few ever discovered and early estimates peg the value at £20,000 ($33,600). David was on a routine hunt into the Tarrant Valley when he found the 3,500-year-old solid gold lunula – a chest ornament worn mainly by one of the Bronze Age chieftains, reported Daily Mail.
Surprisingly, David didn’t have to dig deep. The artifact was located just 10 inches below ground. The rare, near-perfect piece is currently being assessed by experts, but is thought to be worth around £20,000. Owing to the historic significance, it is unlikely that the necklace will be bought by a private collector. The artifact will most likely go to a British Museum.
The value of such treasures is thoroughly estimated by a qualified board of assessors and the proceeds are split 50-50 between the finder and the landowner. Hence David will pocket half of whatever the lunula turns out to be worth as a ‘finder’s fee’.
However, he was quick to point out that it is not the money that pulls him outdoors every weekend, his trusty metal detector in tow, not worrying about the weather. While on one such expeditions across soggy farmland south of Blandford Forum he explained, “It’s the thrill. Every time you hear a signal, you think ‘maybe this will be it’, and, of course, it usually isn’t, but it’s the anticipation, the wondering, that keeps you going,” reported Canadian Content.
Explaining the unusual depth at which the necklace was found, David said, “The British are a nation of losers. Other countries may have lost cities or tombs, but for thousands of years, we have been misplacing vast amounts of priceless stuff – from Viking swords to Elizabethan dinner sets – that is still turning up on hillsides, riverbanks and back gardens.”
Fortunately for the world, more than 3000 amateur ‘metal detectives’ have been prowling and poking the ground in the hopes of unearthing something of significant value. Unfortunately, these driven and perhaps obsessed men and women are routinely met with pitying looks as they wander, seemingly aimlessly, around the countryside with their wand-like detectors.
Detecting metallic artifacts is all about patience and using dependable equipment, explains David. He currently owns a £2,000 top-of-the-range Minelab CTX3030 metal detector. Moreover, it is the strict code of ethics that keeps the practice respectable. Anyone who is interested in such a hubby or profession is offered help from the National Council for Metal Detecting.
[Image Credit | Roger Guttridge / BNPS.co.uk]