Un tesoro escondido de la Edad del Hierro ha sido encontrado por el cuidador de un `safari park´ utilizando un detector de metales por primera vez.
David Booth was `stunned´ when he found several 2000-year-old gold neckbands in a field in Stirlingshire. He had driven to the site and parked his car. Then, after taking only seven steps, he found the treasure.
The find is thought to be the most important ever made in Scotland. Booth said: `I was almost stunned´. `I had an idea it was very valuable and rare stuff and it was the first thing I´d ever found really so it was really unbelievable. I basically parked the car up and got the metal detector out and picked a direction to set off and about seven steps later there it was. It was the first thing I came across´. He added: `I knew it was jewellery and I knew it was old but I didn’t know the age of it´.
The lucky amateur appeared along with the treasure of the National Museum of Scotland ahead of a valuation of the hoard by the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel. Under law, the Crown can claim any objects found in Scotland and the people who find the objects have no right of ownership. However, Mr Booth could be set to receive an enormous reward that may be equal to the value of the jewellery.
Experts have declared the hoard of international significance, demonstrating the wealth and connnections of people in Scotland at the time.
The exact location of the field in which the treasure was found is being kept secret to stop other would-be treasure hunters from mobbing the site.
The collection consists of two ribbon torcs - a local style of jewellery made from a twisted ribbon of gold - half an ornate torc of southern French origin, and a unique braided gold wire torc which shows strong influences of Mediterranean craftsmanship. They are currently under the protection of Scotland´s Treasure Trove Unit, an independent body based at the National Museum of Scotland. The unit, along with a team from National Museums Scotland, is now continuing to excavate the site and analyse the find.
Dr Fraser Hunter, Iron Age and Roman curator at the National Museum of Scotland, said he `almost fell off my seat´ when he first set eyes on photographs of Mr Booth´s discovery.
He said: `The archaeological value is stunning. Archaeologically speaking, this is a remarkable find. It´s one of the most important hoards from Scotland ever. We haven´t found anything of this quality. It´s one of the most important hoards from the Iron Age in Britain and it´s a find of European importance´.
The Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel will now value it. A similar band found in Newark, Nottinghamshire, in 2005 sold for £350,000. Earlier this year, metal detector Terry Herbert unearthed the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, in a Staffordshire field. The haul of about 1,000 items was officially declared to be treasure by a coroner.