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 1,700-year-old child’s coffin

Treasure-hunters find 1,700-year-old child’s coffin in England

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A metal detecting club in England has stumbled upon a 1,700-year-old lead coffin in a field in Leicestershire, two miles aware from the site of a Roman settlement and fort. The coffin is thought to have belonged to a wealthy Roman family and would have cost the equivalent of £200,000.

“I cannot describe how it feels to find something like this. You spend hours walking around fields, sometimes with little reward and then you find something this,” said Chris Wright, who discovered the coffin. “We had been at it all day and then got a signal - it was quite deep so I "ummed and ahhed" about whether to just ignore it and move on”. Fortunately, Wright decided to follow his instinct and continued to dig until he uncovered the surprising find.

After digging down and discovering it was a coffin, Wright, and others from the Digging up the Past metal detecting club, called the police and remained at the site to protect it from robbers.  The police contact the Leicestershire County Council who sent out a team of archaeologists.  The council archaeologists told the amateur treasure hunters it is a unique discovery and a find of a lifetime.

The coffin has not yet been opened but it has been removed from the site and is being kept in a secure location. However, there will of course be differing views as to what should happen to the coffin now. Leicestershire County Council’s finds liaison officer, Wendy Scott, said they had to treat the find with respect and dignity.

“We have to remember this is human remains - it is a child’s body - and the best procedure is to leave it alone and rest in the position it is in or rebury it,” she said.

By April Holloway

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