A Frankish mount from a sword, the second found in Leicestershire. Picture courtesy Wendy Scott/Portable Antiquities Scheme
Melton Carnegie Museum in Leicester is hosting an exhibition that showcases many of the rare archaeological artefacts unearthed by local residents.
The exhibition, Found in Leicestershire, runs until 23 March 2007 and features an array of exciting finds including a wonderful collection of Roman brooches, a rare prehistoric flint dagger, Viking age objects and many medieval items, all from the Melton area.
The display tells the story of everyday life for our ancestors and gives a compelling picture of our past. The finds also include an assortment of domestic items made of metal, stone and pottery, whilst accompanying literature reveals their historical importance and how they were found.
A piece of Roman samian ware, illustrating the Roman past of the Melton area. Picture courtesy Wendy Scott/Portable Antiquities Scheme
All of the pieces have been provided by the Melton & Belvoir Search Society and are important finds for the area – in particular, the Frankish mount from a sword, Roman copper brooches and a superb Viking brooch.
There is a particularly strong tradition of amateur archaeology in Leicestershire and Rutland, and the exhibition draws on this local enthusiasm. The Leicestershire Museums Archaeological Fieldwork Group, which was founded in 1976, supports this interest by training a number of locally based fieldwork groups and in doing so has encouraged a real curiosity in the history of the area.
A Tudor legal seal. Picture courtesy Wendy Scott/Portable Antiquities Scheme
Along with finds being called in from local fieldwalkers, they have also been sourced from the area’s large and active army of metal detector users who work closely with the Portable Antiquities Scheme to log and record their finds. Several more of the artefacts have been found by chance – some by people walking their dogs, by gardeners or by builders.
To find out more, go along to a talk at the museum by Wendy Scott, the Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer, on February 22 at 7.30pm. Places are limited but free tickets can be obtained in advance from the museum or by calling 01664 569946.