It was announced this week that this gold and garnet cross should go on public display after being acquired by the Kent Archaeological Society. It was found by Paul Haigh of the Kent Searchers Metal Detecting Club three years ago. Paul said “I was so thrilled to unearth this historical relic, during a hailstorm I might add. Hopefully this may dismiss the myth that all of us detectorists are ‘treasure hunters’ only in it for financial gain. I’m so pleased KAS is now the custodians of this magical artefact.“
It is recorded at the PAS as KENT-9D33EB, been through the treasure process and offered to museums around the country.
The pendant has been digitally reimagined by Lloyd Bosworth, an expert in 3D modelling of archaeological discoveries, to show what it would have looked like.
It is thought to date to the first half of the seventh century, not long after St Augustine first arrived in Kent in AD 597.
High status necklace
It is likely to have adorned a necklace of a woman of high status, as demonstrated by the necklace from Desborough. Many of these women embraced and encouraged the adoption of Christianity in the seventh century.
In 1876, some workmen digging for ironstone found a group of sixty graves inside an enclosure. They divided up the treasure they found but news soon leaked out and they were persuaded to hand it in for a reward.
One of the items found was the Desborough necklace, which is now on display at the British Museum.
The necklace is the finest of its kind to survive from Anglo-Saxon England and includes a cross pendant, set with a garnet.