Detectorists Finds in the Wessex Gallery

Saturday, November 15, 2014 to Saturday, February 28, 2015

Booking: No booking required.
Cost: Normal admission charges apply.

From mid-November 2014 to February 2015, a special case in the Wessex Gallery will display some exceptional objects discovered by members of the public in the Salisbury area.  A husband and wife team, detecting in the Deverill valley near Warminster, have discovered many treasured pieces.

The metal-detectorists found these pieces over a period of almost 30 years in the Deverill valley, and have been working closely with the Portable Antiquities Scheme for 11 years. The objects they have found so far span 2,000 years of Wessex history, stretching right back into the Iron Age. The Scheme was set up by the UK government in 1997 to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales.

Star pieces include a superbly modelled cast Roman bust of a Maenad (a female follower of the god Bacchus with a stunning plaited vine and ivy wreath head-dress). Another beautiful piece is an early medieval hooked tag showing an eagle stretching it’s wings and talons, possibly a symbol for John the Baptist, made from copper alloy with silver plate inlaid with niello. There is also a glorious gilded early medieval cloisonné brooch with a trifoliate leaf motif.

The exhibition will also include four finds from across south Wiltshire that have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme and donated to the Museum. Among these the pointed oval seal matrix from the sub deanery of Salisbury, made from copper-alloy between 1300-1400 AD, was donated by an individual who found it whilst gardening in Laverstock. The seal depicts the Virgin and Child standing before an elaborate altar.

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Credit: British Forces News/Forces TV