December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A solid gold bronze age bracelet unearthed by a novice metal detector in Fordham has become the star attraction at Ely Museum.
The stunning bracelet - worth in excess of £10,000 - was bought by the museum after it was identified and valued by the British Museum.
Museum curator Elie Hughes said: “This is a rare and beautiful object and we are so pleased to have it here in our collection, in the same area in which it was found. Although the bracelet is 3000 years old it looks almost new.
“It is solid gold all the way through, and really heavy.”
The bracelet has gone on display in the museum’s current temporary exhibition ‘Constructing the Past’ which celebrates the archaeology of the Fens.
A man using a metal detector found the bracelet back in 2011.
Mrs Hughes said: “It was one of his first finds. He took it to the Cambridgeshire County Council’s finds liaison officer, and then it went to the British Museum to be identified and valued.
“The finds officer said it was the most impressive find she had seen from East Cambridgeshire.”
She added: “We expressed an interest in getting the bracelet, and the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology supported us, saying it should be in Ely.”
Although Mrs Hughes said she was not allowed to reveal the value of the bracelet or where it was found, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website shows that £10,000 was allocated to the museum from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund for the ‘late bronze age penannular bracelet from Fordham’. Ely Museum also received funding from The Headley Trust, which is part of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, and the Friends of Ely Museum.
In the future, the bracelet will form the centrepiece of a new permanent bronze age display at Ely Museum.