HISTORIC hidden gems were waiting to be unearthed by hundreds of detectorists scouring Oxfordshire’s countryside at this year’s Detectival 2018.

Roman coins, 17th century silver rings, and medieval gold were among the finds uncovered during the weekend-long festival dedicated to metal detecting.

Oxford Mail:

The two-day event saw up to 1,000 people scatter across the 1,000 acre site in West Oxfordshire, metal detector in tow, in a bid to discover a little piece of history.

Oxfordshire County Council finds liaison officer Anni Byard was involved in the identifying of any objects found, and said some 300 artefacts have been unearthed.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “Detectival is a very large metal detecting rally organised by the Metal Detectives.

“It attracts people from all over the world to detect for two days, plus there is the beer tent, food and music to make it a proper festival atmosphere.

“It has been held in Oxfordshire for the past three years, although the county has hosted metal detecting rallies for some 10 years as it is quite rural.”

The year people were able to get out and scour the site close to Burford and Charlbury, with 400 acres of the land having never been detected previously.

Oxford Mail:

This year items uncovered include Roman coins, brooches, finger rings, Saxon brooches, and Georgian and Victorian pennies.

Ms Byard added: “We have had a few Iron Age coins and they belonged to a local tribe called the Dobunni, plus a couple of legally qualified treasure items such as a silver medieval finger ring and a lot of medieval gold.”

The event usually sees hundreds of artefacts brought to the team of volunteers to identify and then will be returned to the finders.

Ms Byard said: “A lot of people have actually donated their finds to the museum, in fact we have had a lovely Saxon dress hook - about and inch and a half tall - all complete.

“These are quite rare objects and the finder has donated it to The Oxfordshire Museum Service.

“They have been really generous, it’s been great.”

The event, sponsored by Nokta Makro detection technologies, is an annual event which uncovers hundreds of historic items each year.

The finds also include pottery and flint - such as wooden tools or weapons - as detectorists are asked to keep an eye out for these potential treasures also.

Relevant artefacts are recorded and detailed with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, online at finds.org.uk