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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Viking treasure found on Silloth beach

TREASURE has been unearthed on a Silloth beach by a man out with a metal detector.

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Carlisle Coroners’ Court heard that a silver Viking jug handle discovered at Beckfoot could be over 2,000 years old.

The court heard the handle, dating back from between the first and fourth centuries by the British Museum, is made mainly from silver and is in the form of a stylised snake’s head.

North and West Cumbria Coroner, John Taylor, ruled yesterday that as the handle is silver and is over 300 years old, it is treasure and can be claimed by a museum.

Amateur archaeologist, Graham Ryan, 63, of Beckfoot, discovered the handle whilst out with his metal detector.

He told the News & Star he was not surprised to find Viking artefacts on the beach: “There’s a Roman Fort at Beckfoot. It has a cemetery and with the soil erosion I have found cremation urns too. We’ve had some lovely finds.”

Mr Ryan belongs to the Senhouse Museum Archaeology Society based in Maryport which has encouraged his hobby.

He added: “I think from being a boy, I always thought I’d find treasure.”

Senhouse Roman Museum have expressed an interest in adding Mr Ryan’s find to its collection. The handle will now be valued to determine its worth and any reward Mr Ryan can claim for finding it.

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