What’s your favourite piece of Oxfordshire treasure?
From ancient pottery and gold coins to Iron Age jewellery and Elizabethan rings – there’s something to catch everyone’s eye at an exhibition celebrating the most amazing historical discoveries by local people.
The Oxfordshire Museum’s 20 Years of Treasure - The Portable Antiquities scheme in Oxfordshire, marks two decades since the roll-out of the Treasure Act ensured significant archaeological finds would be preserved for the nation.
The display is already proving a hit with visitors, and now staff have launched a competition for people to choose their favourite object and submit postcards explaining their choice.
Prizes for the most thought-provoking contributions will be awarded later in the year, including unique behind-the-scenes experiences at the British Museum and Oxford Archaeology.
Left: 13th Century seal of Wymond de Brandon, found by a metal detectorist in 2012.
More about the exhibition
The range of specially chosen artefacts demonstrates the huge influence of the 1996 Treasure Act on our understanding of Oxfordshire’s history. All of the objects have been found by local people and metal detectorists across Oxfordshire.
They include treasure finds and also items that have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme – set up at the same time as the Treasure Act to record details of finds not classed as treasure. The exhibition is expected to run well into the new year.
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said: “Our knowledge of Oxfordshire’s past has been greatly enhanced and the Museums Service collections enriched by the many objects found by local people and metal detectorists over the last 20 years.
“We now have an extraordinary resource for exploring our past and this exhibition is a great opportunity for visitors to come and see some of the very best of this. This is a real treat for anyone with an interest in local history – and perhaps something to inspire those who have never previously visited the Oxfordshire Museum.”
Among the exhibits is a remarkable recent find by metal detectorist Tim Moody from Charney Bassett. Mr Moody unearthed a rare late-Roman set of ‘dividers’ – a technical drawing instrument similar to a pair of compasses – creating excitement in local academic circles.
Main image: Late 16th century gold pendant applique, found by a metal detectorist in 2003.
Inset: 13th century seal of Wymond de Brandon, found by a metal detectorist in 2012.