Detector man finds buried treasure
November 3rd, 2002
The silver Roman brooches are treasure trove
London's Inside Out team meets an amateur archaeologist who may have hit the jackpot by using his metal detector in a field just outside London.
For David Phillips, it began as just another trip to a field outside London with his trusty metal detector.
But, after stumbling on a huge signal from under the rich earth, he began digging and found a haul of pottery, bronze, glass vases and bottles in what is now believed to be a Roman grave.
Museum experts reckoned the objects dated from about 140AD and would have belonged to someone who was very wealthy.
Two silver brooches found in the grave are being examined by experts from the British Museum, who say they are very unusual for the period.
"We have boxes of the stuff all over the place - lumps of unidentified lead through to quite nice coins."
Mr Phillips' find could make him a rich man. Any ancient find containing silver or gold is classed as treasure trove.
Museums have the right to buy the items based on a valuation by independent experts. The finder keeps the cash.
The site, whose location is not being revealed to prevent people from swarming to the area, also contains large post holes which may be a late Iron Age hall or a Roman barn.
Archaeologists cannot excavate the whole site because it would cost too much, but are hoping to raise the money for a couple of trenches.