More than 20 buried treasures unearthed in Northamptonshire last year, figures show


A number of treasures have been found in the county over the past year.
A number of treasures have been found in the county over the past year.

More than 20 buried treasures were unearthed in Northamptonshire last year, figures show.

Fortune hunters and metal detectors made 22 finds in 2020, according to data from the British Museum and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

That means a total of 161 finds have been reported in Northamptonshire since surveys began in 2012, according to the figures.

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In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the number of treasure finds exceeded 1,000 for the seventh consecutive year in 2020 – 1,077 were recorded last year.

The British Museum said restrictions on the exercise of people during coronavirus shutdowns contributed to an increase in unexpected finds of gardens last year.

Over 6,000 finds – which could include a single object or a treasure trove of coins – were recorded with the museum’s portable antiques program during the first lock alone, when hunting with a metal detector outside from the house was banned.

Former Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said it was “great” to see the program grow stronger during the lockdown thanks to garden findings and digital reports.

Anyone who thinks they have found a hidden treasure must notify the coroner within two weeks, so that he can organize an inquest to decide if it is treasure and who will receive the items.

If they don’t, they face an unlimited fine or up to three months behind bars.

Local and national museums have the option of purchasing all the pieces a coroner considers treasure, but the researcher does not leave empty-handed – they will receive a sum depending on the value of the transport.

In 2020, 115 treasure finds were reported in the East Midlands.

The treasury law currently defines treasures as finds that are more than 300 years old and made of gold or silver, or objects made of precious metals.

But the government announced in December 2020 that a new definition would be introduced to prevent treasures from being lost to the public. He would see artefacts also defined as treasures if they are “of historical or cultural significance”.

Metal detecting is the best way to unearth lost treasure, according to the numbers.

The devices tracked 96% of finds in 2019, the most recent year with details of how the objects were discovered.

An additional three percent – 36 cases – were archaeological finds and 10 were from walking on the ground or scouring streams and shorelines. Police recovered treasure from a “nighthawker” – an illegal treasure hunter.


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