Exciting archaeological news from the Isle of Wight Council. Ed
A couple on holiday on the Isle of Wight have made a discovery of an historic artefact thought to be thousands of years old.
June and Christopher Preece from Banbury in Oxfordshire were visiting the Island in early July. Being a keen metal detectorist, Chris was using his metal detector when he found a number of small metallic objects under a slab of clay on Sandown Beach.
The couple took the finds into Visit Isle of Wight’s visitor centre in Newport Guildhall, where staff passed it on to the Isle of Wight Council’s finds liaison officer Frank Basford.
A small knife from the Bronze Age
Frank has since confirmed under the Portable Antiquities Scheme that one is a small knife thought to date from the Bronze Age and was made about 1000 to 800BC.
The knife is made from copper alloy and was most likely a leather working tool.
Discovered in Sandown
Another of the finds is of a button dating from the seventeenth century.
Recalling making the find, Christopher said:
“We love searching for items with our metal detectors and were walking on Sandown Beach when it buzzed and we noticed that the objects looked unusual.
“I have a keen interest in history and immediately thought they were very old, because the knife has a green colour which is often found on old copper. The shape also gave me an indication it was an historical artefact.
“We decided to take it to the visitor centre in Newport so that it could be passed on and identified.”
Donated to the Island
“To be told the knife is several thousand years old is just incredible. We never thought what we found was so old.
“As it was found on the Island, we are very keen for residents and visitors to enjoy it and were happy to donate it to the council’s museum’s service so it can go on display.”
The Bronze Age knife is now on display at Newport Roman Villa, along with the button.
Councillor Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for tourism, said:
“This is a wonderful discovery for the Isle of Wight and I want to personally thank Christopher and June for not only making the finds, but also kindly donating them to us so that people can enjoy them.”
The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a Department for Culture, Media and Sport-funded project based at the British Museum which aims to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales.
If you have any interesting Isle of Wight archaeological finds, please report it to Frank Basford via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (01983) 823810.