Daventry Town Council hoping to acquire Roman treasure found in district

Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme
Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Daventry Town Council is hoping to acquire and display a piece of Roman treasure which was found in the district.

The gold chain and its pendant are currently being evaluated by the British Museum after it was found using a metal detector in a field near Byfield.

Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme

The find qualifies as treasure under the 1996 Treasure Act because it contains a minimum of 10 per cent of precious metal and is more than 300 years old.

As a result, the British Museum has been given the chance to acquire the item – which weighs 6.7g – but should it not want it, the finder will be eligible to keep or sell the pendant, subject to any rights of the land's owner or occupier.

Daventry Town Council said it will contact the museum once an official valuation is made.

Members of the town council's museum committee "concurred that it would be appropriate for the museum to pursue the treasure case and agreed it would be of public and of local interest to be able to acquire the item."

The committee's development and liaison officer, Sophie Wallace, said the plan would be to have the item on display so that people can learn more about the item and its time period.

To acquire the item, Daventry Museum might have to apply for a grant or crowdfund to raise the money, with any final decision to be taken by the full town council.

Dated to the early Roman period, between 100 and 200 AD, the chain and pendant could have been worn as a bracelet or an attachment.

Hanging from the 17.5cm chain is a teardrop or leaf-shaped pendant which is decorated on one face with a beaded border. The back of the 3cm pendant is smooth and undecorated.

The chain is of a single figure-of-eight looped form and is composed of 27 loops.