Found in a Field, the Last Word in Bronze Age Style

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL SIMS

WHEN John Minns unwrapped his new metal detector, he expected to find a lot of tin cans and maybe the occasional old coin.

Indeed, one of his first finds was the foil lid of a yoghurt pot.

But he didn't give up and, digging deeper, came across something extraordinary - a Bronze Age axe.

This was swiftly followed a hoard of 35 items, including bracelets, pins and a razor dating back to between 1000 and 800BC.

There were also several gold 'lock rings' - the Bronze Age equivalent of hairbands.

'I guess it's like fishing - sometimes you can have all the luck, other times you have none,' said the married father-of-one.

The 58-year-old, from Arbroath, stumbled across the treasure - named the Collette Hoard after his eight-year-old daughter - on a family holiday in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

He asked a local farmer if he could try out his detector on his land, and had soon picked up a strong signal.

'I started to dig,' said Mr Minns, a builder. 'It wasn't long before I found an old Muller yoghurt pot with the foil wrapper. I discarded that and rechecked the area.

'The signal was even stronger this time so I dug a little deeper.

'Then, incredibly, I uncovered a Bronze Age axe. I knew what it was instantly as I'd studied the era. …