Finding buried treasure in 1960
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