Treasure hunter unearths Iron Age grave in field near Weymouth

Dorset Echo: Carl Walmsley with his metal detector Carl Walmsley with his metal detector

A TREASURE hunter has unearthed the ‘find of his life’ – a grave containing a 2,300-year-old skeleton and his possessions.

Carl Walmsley, who has been using a metal detector for 25 years, came across the find in a farmer’s field just outside Weymouth.

Buried with the Iron Age man were glass beads, a mirror, a bronze amulet, a coin, tweezers and a thistle brooch.

The skeleton, believed to date back to the first century, was found in a foetal position around 1.5ft from the surface.

Carl, of Weymouth, said: “I wasn’t expecting to find anything like this.

“I’d been metal detecting in that field before, but this time I had walked just 60 yards into the field when I found it.

“I started off digging a small hole and dug down a little further.

“Then all of a sudden a bronze amulet came out, then out popped some glass beads with parts of a mirror. I then came across a bone and that’s when I knew I’d found a grave.”

Carl, a member of Weymouth Metal Detecting Club, called the police and reported the body.

It was painstakingly removed by specialist officers and members of Bournemouth University’s archaeology department.

‘Skully’, as Carl has nick-named him, is now in the process of being cleaned up and researched by university archaeologists.

A coin in the grave is believed to date back to the years 81 to 83 BC and the skeleton is thought to be that of a man.

The value of the Iron Age loot isn’t yet known and a treasure trove inquest will be held to establish its owner.

“The thought of money hasn’t even crossed my mind.

“For me, the excitement of finding old things means more to me than finding gold. It’s the find of my life,” Carl said.

Condor Ferries cabin manager Carl said he would like the skeleton and the items to go on display in Dorset County Museum.

“We’d like local people to be able to see it,” he added.

Carl took up metal detecting as a hobby after his dad Jim introduced him to it.

Jim said: “He was very lucky because in a few years it would have been destroyed because it was on a slope so close to the surface and would have been ploughed over. This is a once in a lifetime discovery and I’m very proud of him.”

Pictures of Carl’s recent find along with other artefacts discovered by the Weymouth Metal Detecting Club will be on display at Weymouth Museum in Brewer’s Quay until September.

Comments (5)

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9:22am Thu 8 Jul 10

JANEAUSTEN says...

Really exciting, I'm very envious.
looking forward to seeing it in Dorchester Museum.
Really exciting, I'm very envious. looking forward to seeing it in Dorchester Museum. JANEAUSTEN
  • Score: 0

10:10am Thu 8 Jul 10

Mabu says...

Can you just get a detector and then set off into any big fields or do you need permission from the farmers or landowners? People seem to be finding stuf every week. I might invest in one of these.
Can you just get a detector and then set off into any big fields or do you need permission from the farmers or landowners? People seem to be finding stuf every week. I might invest in one of these. Mabu
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Thu 8 Jul 10

carlw says...

Hello Mabu!
It is not as easy as it sounds, you do need permission to detect on farm land and that is hard as lots of farmers already have people detecting and some farmers will not give permission to detect. You also need a good machine and good knowledge of history to understand the fields. Not everyone is lucky to find items of the past or a find like i did. Took 25 years and lots of hours.
Hope this helps a little.
Carlw
Hello Mabu! It is not as easy as it sounds, you do need permission to detect on farm land and that is hard as lots of farmers already have people detecting and some farmers will not give permission to detect. You also need a good machine and good knowledge of history to understand the fields. Not everyone is lucky to find items of the past or a find like i did. Took 25 years and lots of hours. Hope this helps a little. Carlw carlw
  • Score: 0

7:31am Fri 9 Jul 10

bretthehe says...

can be dangerous what if u uncover a bomb or something
can be dangerous what if u uncover a bomb or something bretthehe
  • Score: 0

7:55am Fri 9 Jul 10

carlw says...

bretthehe wrote:
can be dangerous what if u uncover a bomb or something
then i go out of this world with a big bang lol.
[quote][p][bold]bretthehe[/bold] wrote: can be dangerous what if u uncover a bomb or something[/p][/quote]then i go out of this world with a big bang lol. carlw
  • Score: 0

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