BURIED treasure including bronze axeheads — potentially dating back to 600BC — and a medieval ring has been discovered on the Isle of Wight.

All three historic finds were declared treasure at a treasure inquest, held at the Isle of Wight Coroner's Court last week.

Frank Basford, finds liaison officer for the Isle of Wight's portable antiquities scheme, appeared before the coroner to present the three discoveries.

The 1996 Treasure Act requires people who discover artefacts made of precious materials to declare them — and allow a museum to make an offer for the item before it can be sold.

The latest Island finds included a set of bronze socketed axeheads, dating from 800 to 600BC and discovered in Arreton by Alan and Wayne Richardson.

Mr Basford said: "The hoard consists of 49 items, including several near complete axeheads, fragments of axeheads, casting debris and undiagnosed objects.

"It's quite possible these axes may not have been used as axes but may, in fact, have have been used as currency."

The second find was was described as an Anglo Saxon garnet mount, dating from 600AD and discovered near Shalfleet by Peter Peach.

Mr Basford said: "We aren't really sure what this was meant for. It's likely to have been attached to a larger artefact, possibly a piece of jewellery or another dress accessory."

The last and grandest object was a misshapen medieval gold finger-ring with a blue cabochon setting, discovered in Brighstone by a member of the Isle of Wight Metal Detecting Club.

Coroner Caroline Sumeray said: "This ring is really quite something, it looks like the kind of thing I would want to wear."

Mr Basford said: "We think it might actually be hollow. The bezel of the ring is made of sheet gold, so it's possible someone may have been cheated."

The coroner declared the three discoveries to be treasure, and Mr Basford said the Island's Guildhall Museum intended to make offers for them.

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