Man who found Iron Age 'treasure' set for big payout

Started by gash, February 04, 2019, 02:59:21 pm

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A man is set to pocket half of a "seven figure" sum after parts of an ancient Celtic chariot he found were designated as treasure.

Metal detectorist Mike Smith, from Pembrokeshire, discovered the 2,000-year-old Iron Age artefacts in February 2018 on farmland in the south of the county.

An inquest in his home town of Milford Haven declared the find as treasure and ruled the site where it was discovered was legally protected.

It said 45-year-old Mr Smith has to sell the 34 artefacts to a museum by law.

He must hand half of the windfall to the landowner, but believes he is still in for a bumper payout.

Mr Smith: "I still can't believe it. It's guess work but you're definitely talking six or seven figures. It's the biggest ever metal detecting find, as in there's never been a chariot ever discovered by a metal detectorist.

"There have been hoards found, but never anything like this."

Mr Smith, who has been metal detecting since 1977, first found what he thought was a medieval brooch but it turned out to be part of a Celtic horse harness.

He went straight back the following day and found more red enamel pieces - dating to between AD 25 and 75.

High-ranking chiefs in the Iron Age would be laid to rest with their chariot, horses, tack and weapons.

Mr Smith said the 2,000-year-old finds could be "life-changing" and he hopes he can afford to buy a bungalow for himself and his wife who has difficulty climbing stairs.

National Museum Wales said it will try to acquire the treasure "for the national collection and on behalf of the people of Wales".
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