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Anglo-Saxon treasure found in Norfolk field valued at £145,000

PUBLISHED: 11:26 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:06 05 December 2017

A treasure emerges: The stunning Anglo-Saxon pendant emerges from the Norfolk mud.

A treasure emerges: The stunning Anglo-Saxon pendant emerges from the Norfolk mud.

Archant

A student who found an Anglo-Saxon treasure in a Norfolk field hopes his discovery will help him put a deposit down on a house - after his remarkable find was valued at £145,000.

Archaeology student Tom Lucking. Picture: ANTONY KELLYArchaeology student Tom Lucking. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Tom Lucking was a 23-year-old history student at the University of East Anglia when he discovered a hoard of “national significance”, while metal detecting in a field near Diss two years ago.

The items, which Norwich Castle Museum wants to acquire and which includes a gold cross pendant, were previously declared treasure but their value has only just come to light.

Mr Lucking said any money he ends up receiving - the landowner and his metal detecting partner Stuart Isaacs will also get a share - “will probably end up as a deposit on a house in some way.”

“It’s going to make things a lot easier,” he added.

One of the Anglo-Saxon artefacts discovered near Diss by Tom Lucking and Stuart Isaacs that was found to be Treasure. Photo: Tom Lucking.One of the Anglo-Saxon artefacts discovered near Diss by Tom Lucking and Stuart Isaacs that was found to be Treasure. Photo: Tom Lucking.

The British Museum described the finds as “an assemblage of artefacts most probably deriving from an early Anglo-Saxon female furnished burial.”

Among the items were a Merovingian coin pendant, two gold biconical spacer beads, a gold openwork pendant with the form of a Maltese cross, a coin pendant with a gold suspension loop, another pendant with a Maltese cross design, a continental pottery biconical bowl, an iron knife and a collection of copper alloy chatelaine rings.

Much of the gold jewellery was still on the skeleton of the woman, who would have been of extremely high status, buried between around 650 and 675 AD, and one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon converts to Christianity.

One of the large pendants, found lower down on the skeleton’s chest, was made of gold and inlaid with hundreds of tiny garnets and was itself valued at £140,000.

Archaeology student Tom Lucking.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYArchaeology student Tom Lucking. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Lucking said of the discovery: “We could hear this large signal. We knew there was something large but couldn’t predict it would be like that. When it came out the atmosphere changed.”

The former student, who was living in Bowthorpe when he made his discovery, is now an archaeologist and still uses a metal detector, mostly at weekends.

Mr Lucking has previously said the castle would be the best place for the treasure to end up as it “keeps it in the county for people to see.”

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