Having A Whale Of A Time While Treasure Hunting


The hunt for treasure

Treasure hunting has become something of an obsessive pastime for many, but of all the treasures that come to light, only a fifth are actually unearthed by seasoned archaeologists. Thousands of amateur treasure hunters armed with nothing more than a regular metal detector take to our countryside every year. All are in pursuit of hidden goodies, which they hope will make them a fast few quid. More often than not, these wild goose chases leave them empty-handed and disappointed, but with so much folklore and myth surrounding hidden treasure why give up? The humble metal detector was originally created to detect mines, yet it's still proving to be the most relied upon tool of the trade. Recent discoveries include a stack of Roman coinage in Herefordshire, an entire collection of Norman and Anglo-Saxon coins in Buckinghamshire and a selection of jewellery pieces belonging to the Viking period was found in North Yorkshire. It would appear that the UK certainly has its hotspots like Herefordshire, Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire. A treasure can only be declared one by a coroner and there's roughly about one hundred significant finds per annum. A local archaeologist Ben Robinson explained why these hotspots throw up more archaic objects than anywhere else. He believes it's down to how the land is used and of course, it's intricate historical past. "There's a rich tapestry of habitation in East Anglia and that history has left its legacy in the soil. Then comes the plough, turning that soil over each year, bringing new finds towards the surface." Exciting new finds must be at least three hundred years old to earn the title 'treasure' and objects that originate from the industrial revolution in the big cities do not count either. So, imagine the disappointment a couple in Lancashire had when they turned up a whale's intestines on a beach? Thanks to their intuition, they wrapped it up in a scarf and took it home, and now they're so glad they did.CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE...
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