Some of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries from Jersey’s rich heritage will go on display this weekend as part of the Jersey Heritage Christmas celebrations.
The largest hoard of Celtic coins ever found will be on display, alongside a collection of 25 Bronze Age axe heads that were found in an intact pottery vessel in October.
These ‘treasures’ will also form the foundation of a new microsite being developed by Jersey Heritage that will profile some of the unique finds that document the Island’s diverse cultural past, from the Ice Age to the Iron Age.
2012 has been an incredible year for Jersey Heritage and Jersey’s heritage, with national and international interest in the archaeological sites and finds that illustrate the important role the Island has played in human development.
The most exciting discovery has been the hoard of more than 70,000 Celtic coins, found in a Grouville field in June by metal detectorists Reg Mead and Richard Miles. The story went around the world and attracted media attention from as far away as Australia and the United States.
In October another metal detectorist, Ken Rive, found a collection of Bronze Age axe heads in another field, this time in Trinity. The find was rare because the pottery vessel in which they were stored was still largely intact, giving an insight into how implements would have been transported nearly 3,000 years ago.
Jersey Heritage’s Curator of Archaeology Olga Finch said: ‘It has been a remarkable year, not only because of the age of these finds but because of what they tell us about life in Jersey, and who was here 2000 – 3000 years ago. We have been able to work with the metal detectorists, landowners and our heritage partners to understand these precious items in the context of where they were buried and that enables us to tell the story of these finds to the public in a more informed and engaging way.’
The Iron Age and Bronze Age finds will be put on display for two days only at the Jersey Museum this Saturday and Sunday as part of an exhibition supported by Lloyds TSB. It is likely they will then be returned to the laboratory for further painstaking conservation work. Throughout the two days a series of talks and presentations will be given by Olga Finch and Conservator Neil Mahrer, which will bring to life the stories behind these extraordinary discoveries. The metal detectorists who discovered these ‘treasures’ will also be on hand during the weekend to answer questions and tell their stories.
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