Treasure Finds and Stories
4,000 Year Old Bronze Age Lunula
While out on one of our weekly digs with the Stour Valley Search and Recovery Club, in the heart of the Dorset countryside, I was privileged enough to find a piece of Bronze Age gold, with a possible age to it of approximately 4,000 years. It started like every Club dig with a friendly chat as we all started to arrive and then a quick briefing about the field we were going to detect in. The field was permanent pasture and the Club had visited it several times before. Previously I had only been there once. On that occasion I had only found a couple of small bronze coins and a Georgian halfpenny. As lunch time was approaching my finds bag was similar to my last visit, which consisted of two small Roman bronze coins and a medieval buckle. I headed across the field to see two Club members and asked them if they had found anything interesting. The answer was “no, nothing yet”. At that point I decided to head straight across the field to join other Club members who were having lunch.
Half way across the field I got a clear, sharp, repeatable, “dig me” signal from my CTX 3030. I started to dig to a depth of about 6”. There was nothing to see yet, so I used my probe to locate the find and carried on digging a little deeper, another 4” or so. At that point I wiped away some soil and saw a bright gleaming piece of metal. At first I thought it might be an old sardine tin, but on closer inspection I saw a glint of shining pale yellow. By this time my head was almost in the hole! Then I saw engraved lines on the edges of the find. At this point my heart was in my mouth. After a few more minutes of careful digging, my find started to reveal its true beauty and its identity. Finally I lifted it out of the hole and stared at it with absolute amazement. Club members gathered around and it was identified by a Club member, Andy M, to be a Bronze Age Lunula, named after a crescent moon. Maybe not its original name, but that is something we will never know. Although incomplete, the Lunula is an extraordinary and very rare find for the County of Dorset. Most Lunulae have been found in Ireland and a few examples on the Cornish coast, so I am eagerly awaiting a return trip to the field to find the missing piece that the plough probably took many years ago.
Many thanks to the Minelab Team who made this possible by producing the CTX 3030, my dream machine.