I recently announced the findings of the annual Treasure Report at the British Museum, revealing the number of treasure discoveries that the public have made in the last year, and I am pleased to note that the figure was record-breaking!
The number of treasure finds – defined as gold and silver objects over 300 years old or groups of coins and prehistoric metalwork – in 2016 was 1,116 and provisional numbers for 2017 also show a record-breaking year with 1,267 finds across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I am also pleased that the report highlighted that 363 of the finds have been important enough to have been acquired by local museums.
The British Museum also displayed some of the very best and most interesting finds. One item that stood out to me was a 2,000 year old Roman statuette of a silver-eyed goddess Minerva – the Goddess for wisdom and strategic warfare and the sponsor of arts, trade and strategy – which has amazingly been held in an empty tub of margarine for over a decade! The person who unearthed it thought it was a modern copy but it was in fact Roman. You can read more about this statuette using the following link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6483199/Minerva-statue-margarine-tub-treasures-discovered.html. It is great to see so many pieces of history found by members of the public, further helping us to understand what has happened before us.