A disaster for trust and city
Members of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust found a scene of devastation when they discovered its storeroom had been raided.
Not only were 1,500 items missing, but other finds had been scattered around the buildings – leaving volunteers facing hours of work to re-catalogue and record the exact losses.
The precious finds were the result of the numerous digs which had taken place over the past 40 years in the city centre.
News of the losses were shared worldwide across social media, including from renowned anthropologist and TV presenter Professor Alice Roberts.
Trust director Paul Bennett said: “These finds represent the history of the city – our collective history. They were for display and study for generations to come.
“It is a disaster for the trust and the city and one of the worst things to happen in my memory.”
The haul includes hundreds of coins, Anglo-saxon coloured glass beads, brooches, buckles, bone objects, dress accessories and metal fittings, many of great antiquity.
Among the finds were many from the Whitefriars dig which were meticulously recorded and stored in boxes and used for educational purposes.
Mr Bennett said: “It’s heart-breaking for our education officer Marion Green who has spent years building up the collections for school use.”
The scene that greeted members after the raid