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Bronze Age dress fastener is “one in a billion” find

Detectorist Jonathan Needham describes how he was “yelling and punching the air” when he struck gold. Jonathan was out detecting in a field in Staffordshire on 6 May last year, the date of the coronation. He said “I felt in my bones that I was going to find gold – I’d had a few good finds over the previous year. I thought it would just be a coin or two“. The gold he found was a very rare Bronze Age cloak fastener.

The find

Jonathan was out with fellow detectorist Malcolm Baggaley when he heard a faint beep. When he unearthed the object he thought at first it was a faded aluminium drawer handle. It was when they were back in their car that they began to realise that it was something significant. After doing some research and posting a picture online they realised that they had something special.

Jonathan said “I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I knew it was mega special and I couldn’t stop looking at it. This is truly a one-in-a-billion find – I had a much higher chance of winning the lottery.

Reporting the find

The find was sent to Derby Museum and recorded at the PAS as DENO-A4D394.

PAS record DENO-A4D394.
Photo: Derby Museum Trust CC By SA2.0

The PAS record says that the artefact can be dated to the Ewart Park phase in Britain and gives a date range of 1000 – 800 BC. It weighs nearly 109g.

It says that only 19 examples are known from Britain (82 from Ireland) and that this is the first find of its type in Britain since 1994.

The find has since been moved to the British Museum. Jonathan said “I went to see it in the British Museum and it was displayed with loads of famous artefacts like the Sutton Hoo helmet. It was simply unreal to see it there. If I get to see my name on a plaque in a museum that will be the making of me – it’s something you dream of.

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Jay leon
Jay leon
3 months ago

A friend of mine and an amazing personality to have in the world of metal detecting hobby and a well deserved gentleman and his detecting sidekick well done to them both.