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Metal detectorist unearths rare Bronze Age axe

Historic find in Stanford Dingley dates village back 3,500 years

Dan Cooper

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Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

Metal detectorist unearths rare Bronze Age axe

A METAL detectorist has unearthed a rare find in Stanford Dingley which dates the village back to the Bronze Ages.

Peter Broadhurst, from Brimpton, said he is “on cloud nine” after finding the 3,500-year-old axe head in a field.

After informing the landowner of his discovery, Mr Broadhurst took it to the West Berkshire Museum in Newbury to be recorded.

The palstave, which dates back to 1500BC-1300BC, is now back in his possession.

Instead of selling it, the 58-year-old wants it to be on display somewhere in Stanford Dingley for residents to enjoy.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News this week, Mr Broadhurst said: “I am absolutely thrilled to bits.

“Metal detecting has been my hobby for the past 35 years.

“I’ve found a few Roman coins, which aren’t actually that uncommon around here, but in all those years I’ve never found anything this old.

“I had been searching for about half an hour when I got a really strong signal. I dug down and it popped out right away.

“I knew what it was immediately as I’d seen some on the internet, but I never thought I’d actually manage to find one.

“It came out in pristine condition.

“The majority of the ones I’ve seen haven’t been complete but this one was. I have shown quite a few people who were very keen to hear about it.

“I am on cloud nine. I was really chuffed. I found a few other bits that day, but nothing compared to that. It was the find of the year for me.”

Mr Broadhurst added: “I know there have been Roman finds in Stanford Dingley but this dates the village back to the Bronze Age era.

“We now know that someone, somebody, was living there around 3,500 years ago. It’s fascinating.”

The Portable Antiquities Scheme – a government-funded project to encourage voluntary recording of archeological objects found by members of the public – has commented on the find.

It says: “A near-complete cast copper alloy palstave of Middle Bronze Age date.

“The palstave is in good condition with minimal pitting and only slight wear to the blade edge.

“The axe is of Middle Bronze Age date (1500BC to 1300BC). The blade measures 49.9mm wide, is complete and has a crescentic plan with short curved tips.”

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