Pledge to keep historic Shropshire gold pendant find in public domain

Talks are taking place to ensure a rare gold pendant unearthed in Shropshire stays in the public domain.

The Bronze Age gold bulla found in Shropshire. Photo: British Portable Antiques Scheme.
The Bronze Age gold bulla found in Shropshire. Photo: British Portable Antiques Scheme.

The pendant, known as a bulla, was found at an undisclosed location in the Shropshire Marches in May and officially declared treasure at an inquest yesterday.

Further research will be conducted, and Shropshire Museum Service and staff at the British Museum are in discussions to ensure that the pendant remains in the public domain.

Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), a voluntary programme to record discoveries of archaeological interest, said: “We don’t know what they were used for, but we have a gut feeling that it was made in Ireland.

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"Someone in Shropshire could have ordered it to be produced, someone with power, possibly a lord. It could have been someone who controlled the landscape, but we probably won’t ever know who owned it.”

Mr Reavill also said it would have been deliberately concealed by a “powerful person with international connections”.

Dr Neil Wilkin, of the British Museum, who led research into the find discovered the item is 80 per cent gold, and the remainder is made out of silver and copper.

Shropshire Councillor Lezley Picton, portfolio holder for heritage, added: “It is yet another example of how the Portable Antiquities Scheme and responsible metal detecting is adding to our understanding of prehistoric Shropshire.

“In recent years, important finds like this have changed how we view the county’s past and improved our already important museum collections. I look forward to seeing how this remarkable object adds to this story.”

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