Find­ing buried trea­sure in 1960

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I en­joyed the read­ing the ar­ti­cle ‘Find­ing Buried Trea­sure’ (April edi­tion). It re­minded me of some­thing that hap­pened here in Lak­en­heath many years ago.

It was 1960 and my fa­ther was a mar­ket gar­dener who spe­cialised in grow­ing var­i­ous types of flow­ers that were cut, bunched up and sent to Covent Gar­den in Lon­don.

As well as the acre of land that went with our house, he also hired a fur­ther half acre of ‘gar­den’ half a mile away that was also cov­ered with flow­ers ev­ery sum­mer.

On a par­tic­u­lar Satur­day in April 1960 he had ar­ranged to have the sec­ond piece of land ploughed by a lo­cal plough­man. I was 15 years old and had a great in­ter­est in ar­chae­ol­ogy. As a Ro­man site lay on an ad­join­ing field to where the plough­ing was to take place, I de­cided to bike over and walk be­hind the plough to see if any­thing in­ter­est­ing turned up.

At first noth­ing much ap­peared and as my walk­ing was some­what slower than the speed of the trac­tor and plough it wasn’t long be­fore the trac­tor had caught me up. As I was about to step out of its way I spot­ted a hole in the bot­tom of the fur­row in front of me. I quickly mo­tioned the plough­man to stop and knelt down to in­spect the hole where I found my­self look­ing down into a large an­cient pot.

Out of the cor­ner of my eye I saw the base of this pot lay­ing in two pieces on the sur­face. It turned out to be an an­cient cre­ma­tion urn dat­ing to the Bronze Age pe­riod and was some 3,500-years-old.

The pot had been buried up­side down as a cover for the bones that we later dis­cov­ered still in situ. The pot was 19-and-a-half inches high, the mouth of the pot hav­ing a di­am­e­ter of some 14 inches.

The top half of the urn was cov­ered in dec­o­ra­tion and it is a sober­ing thought that had I not been there that day it would have been cov­ered by the plough soil again and never been re­cov­ered .

The pot is now on per­ma­nent dis­play in Milden­hall Mu­seum. As for me, I have re­tained my in­ter­est in all things an­cient and still go out field-walk­ing with my metal de­tec­tor, a hobby I have now pur­sued for some 63 years. RON MOR­LEY Lak­en­heath Suf­folk

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