Museum exhibition celebrating 20 years of treasure found in Oxfordshire

A late 16th century gold pendant applique, found by a metal detectorist in 2003. Photo: Oxfordshire County Council NNL-170926-094729001
A late 16th century gold pendant applique, found by a metal detectorist in 2003. Photo: Oxfordshire County Council NNL-170926-094729001

A new exhibition celebrating historical discoveries by local people opened at The Oxfordshire Museum on Saturday (September 23).

The display, 20 Years of Treasure - The Portable Antiquities scheme in Oxfordshire, features objects from ancient pottery and gold coins to Iron Age jewellery and Elizabethan rings.

The Woodstock museum’s latest project marks two decades since the Treasure Act was introduced to ensure significant archaeological finds were preserved for the nation.

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for cultural services Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said: “Our knowledge of Oxfordshire’s past has been greatly enhanced and the Museums Service collections enriched by the many objects found by local people and metal detectorists over the last 20 years.

“We now have an extraordinary resource for exploring our past and this exhibition is a great opportunity for visitors to come and see some of the very best of this.

“This is a real treat for anyone with an interest in local history – and perhaps something to inspire those who have never previously visited The Oxfordshire Museum.”

All of the objects have been found by local people and metal detectorists across Oxfordshire.

They include treasure finds and also items that have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme – set up at the same time as the Treasure Act – to record details of finds that did not class as treasure.

Among the exhibits is a remarkable recent find by metal detectorist Tim Moody from Charney Bassett.

Mr Moody unearthed a rare late-Roman set of ‘dividers’ – a technical drawing instrument similar to a pair of compasses – creating excitement in local academic circles.

British Museum department of portable antiquities and treasure head Michael Lewis opened the exhibition.