Iron Age helmet among rare finds unearthed by Britain's amateur treasure hunters (and doesn't it look modern)
Recent finds announced by experts from the British Museum in London
Iron Age helmet unearthed by metal-detectorist near Canterbury, KentA boar mount also found that could have belonged to Richard IIIViking hoard among the other treasures unearthed over the past year
09:28 GMT, 4 December 2012
An 'extremely rare' Iron Age helmet that was later used as a vessel to hold human remains following a
cremation has been discovered.
The British Museum revealed the helmet, that resembles those worn by German troops in the Second World War, was unearthed by a metal-detectorist near Canterbury, Kent,
A brooch found with the helmet is thought to have once fastened a bag containing human bones.
person who owned the helmet, possibly a British mercenary, may have
fought against the Romans in Gaul (now France) or alongside them,
eventually bringing the object to Britain.
Spoil of war The rare late Iron Age helmet found near Canterbury, Kent. Experts say it may have belonged to a mercenary who fought in France and eventually brought it back to this country
The British Museum's curator of Iron Age objects Julia Farley said: 'This is a very rare find.
other cremation has ever been found in Kent accompanied by a helmet and
only a handful of Iron Age helmets are known from Britain.
we think this example was probably made on the continent and it is
fascinating to speculate how it came to be in a grave in Kent.'
The museum also revealed metal-detectorists have also found a boar mount, which could have belonged to Richard III, and a Viking hoard.
copper-alloy mount, which shows a boar, chained, collared and wearing a
crown, with a crescent above one of its legs was found on the Thames
foreshore, near the Tower of London.
The news comes as tests take place on a skeleton that was found in September underneath a Leicester car park, to discover whether it was Richard III.
The boar mount associated with Richard III found on the Thames foreshore: Experts believe it might have decorated an item of leather once owned by his supporters, or possibly even the king himself
The second largest hoard of Roman gold coins ever found in Britain: The finds were announced today at the launch of the Portable Antiquities and Treasure annual reports at the British Museum
He took the white boar as his emblem, while badges in the form of the animal were ordered for the king's cremation in 1485.
It is not know where the mount, found in October, came from but experts believe it might have decorated an item of leather once owned by his supporters, or possibly even the king himself.
'Given the renewed interest in Richard III, after the apparent discovery of his remains in Leicestershire, it is wonderful to have a London find associated with the king,' said Michael Lewis, deputy head of the British Museum's department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure
'I'D BE SURPRISED IF IT WASN'T HIM': ARE KING'S LOST REMAINS FOUND
Archaeologists in September announced they had unearthed what appear to be the remains of Richard III, which have been lost for 527 years.
Using historic maps, they traced a friary where he was rumoured to have been buried after being killed in battle – underneath a social services department car park in Leicester.
And after only three weeks of digging, they found the skeleton of an adult male who was well-built and clearly of noble descent.
His injuries – a metal arrowhead embedded in his back, and a severe blow to the head – are consistent with reports of his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Even more persuasive is the fact that the man has a severely curved spine; Richard was famously nicknamed Crookback.
Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings, ruled for only two years before dying in battle aged 32. It marked the end of the Wars of the Roses and the victory of Henry Tudor, the first of the new dynasty.
Experts stressed that the remains must be subjected to rigorous DNA testing, currently underway, to be sure if it is him.
But lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said: 'I'd be very surprised if someone else was buried at this same spot with critical injuries.'
'The mount is very similar to a number
of boar badges which have been reported Treasure over the past few
years, which were made for followers of Richard III (of York), as Duke
of Gloucester, during the Wars of the Roses.
'Richard took the white boar as his sign. 'Bore' may have also been an anagram of Ebor, the Latin for York.'
A hoard of Viking Age gold and silver metalwork were also discovered in May, on farmland near Bedale, north Yorkshire.
The hoard consists of an iron sword pommel inlaid with gold foil plaques, four gold hoops from the hilt of the sword, six small gold rivets, four silver collars and neck-rings, a silver arm-ring, a silver ring fragment, a silver brooch, and 29 silver ingots.
The hoard, thought to be Viking bullion, obtained in trade or plundered from enemies, was discovered by metal detectorists Stuart Campbell and Steve Caswell, who work in the animal feed business.
Whoever buried the material would have intended to come back for it, to exchange or melt it down and reuse for jewellery.
At the time when the hoard was deposited the north of England was largely under Viking rule and some of the objects are decorated in late Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Scandinavian and Viking art styles.
The finds were announced today at the launch of the Portable Antiquities and Treasure annual reports at the British Museum.
It was announced earlier this year that a metal-detectorist near St Albans, Hertfordshre had discovered the second-largest hoard of Roman gold ever found in Britain.
Some 97,509 finds were recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme in 2011, an 8 per cent rise on the previous year.
Under the Treasure Act 1996, finders have a legal obligation to report all finds of potential treasure to the local coroner.