Imagine you’re out in Central Scotland, trying-out your new metal detector for the very first time, just at the back of Blair Drummond Safari Park. If you’ve ever used one, you’ll probably have found that the first bleep inevitably turns up an old door hinge, or a part of a rusty gate post.
That is unless your name is David Booth! Mr Booth, (or ‘Lucky Bugger’, as we’d like to call him) was doing the very same thing in September 2009 but instead of a few old beans cans or some barbed wire, he unearthed four neck ornaments (or torcs) -, in a field beside the Safari Park where he works. Gold, properly ancient and as a result of the Treasure Trove laws, now his! Under Scots Law, the Crown can claim any archaeological objects found in Scotland. Finders have no ownership rights and must report any objects to the Treasure Trove Unit. What usually happens though, to encourage people to report finds, is that they get a pretty generous payout. Read on and you’ll find out in this case, it’s been hugely generous!
The treasure trove (because that’s exactly what it is), dates from between the 1st and 3rd Century BC and this, (ironically, Iron Age) hoard has been secured for the nation after a fundraising campaign. David will now receive a payment of £462,000 after National Museums Scotland secured the necessary funds!
National Museums Scotland said the neck ornaments were “exquisite examples” of Iron Age craftwork, with a unique braided gold wire torc showing “strong Mediterranean influences”.
Museums’ director Dr Gordon Rintoul said: “We are delighted to have secured this stunning hoard for display in Scotland’s national museum”.
David Booth’s also found out that lightning can strike twice because as well as this amazing find (which must surely make him now seriously consider his day job), he’s also found other things since then, including an 800 year-old ring. I wonder if people have taken to following him around when he goes out detecting?