Anna Booth is the Finds Recording Officer with the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. With a rare 4,500 year old axe turning up at an Ask the Expert event last Friday, she explains exactly what happens next
A medieval harness pendant typically worn while a knight was riding his horse, discovered in Suffolk by a member of the public, was just one of the star finds at a recent archaeology event. The Ask the Expert event, hosted by the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service at Lowestoft Library last Friday (March 25, 2022), saw dozens of local residents bring their discoveries to find out more about them.
Anna Booth, Finds Recording Officer with the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, said on the day: ‘We’ve seen a real assortment of archaeological items today, but the star find is a knapped stone axe from the late Neolithic period found in North Suffolk. The flint axe dates from 2700 BC – 2300 BC. It is not a common find.’
Other items presented to experts included Roman coins and Medieval silver hammered coins – as well as that pendant, which would have displayed the Lord’s Coat of Arms, and dates from Mid-13th to Mid-15th Century.
Anna explains what happens to the items that are brought in by the public: ‘With the finder’s permission I take the items back to the office and add them to a national database and to the Suffolk Historical Environment Record. The item is then returned to the finder with a description of what the item is and its age. The exception to this is if the item is declared as treasure, then it must go to the County Coroner.’
The finds are recorded on to the publicly available Portable Antiquities Scheme national database which lists all the finds in Suffolk and around the UK. The Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service is partially funded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme which is part of the British Museum.
Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council’s deputy cabinet member responsible for archaeology and protected landscapes, adds: ‘It is amazing to see what has been found by local residents. There is so much out there and no doubt still masses of things to find, to tell us more about our history and the people that lived in Suffolk.
‘This is why it is important that we record and archive Suffolk’s past, especially as we live in a part of the country which has such a rich history. I’d invite any members of the public, who think they’ve found an archaeological object or potential treasure, to get in touch.’
Similar events will be held at around Suffolk in the coming months, and members of the public are always welcome to contact the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service if they think they have found an archaeological object.
Featured image (L-R): Cllr Melanie Vigo Di Gallidoro and Anna Booth. Anna is holding a knapped stone axe similar to the one presented on the day. Picture Credit Mick Howes for Suffolk County Council