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Historic Iron Age artefacts return home to West Norfolk

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Items of the Snettisham Treasure which are now on show at Lynn Museum. Picture: British Museum (7703736)
Items of the Snettisham Treasure which are now on show at Lynn Museum. Picture: British Museum (7703736)

Ancient treasures found buried in the heart of West Norfolk have gone on public display in the borough for the first time.

Two items from the Snettisham Treasure, which is the largest collection of Iron Age bronze, silver and gold artefacts found anywhere in Europe, are on show at Lynn Museum from today.

And the treasures, which are more than 2,000 years old and are being loaned to the town by the British Museum, will be displayed in the town until August.

Lynn Museum curator Oliver Bone said: “I am delighted that we have the opportunity to display these beautiful and important items so close to where they were found for the first time.

“It’s incredible to think they were made, used and buried more than two thousand years ago.

“These precious artefacts connect us with our ancestors and their way of life from all that time ago.”

The first of the Snettisham Treasure was uncovered in 1948 when a field outside the village was ploughed. Experts from the Norwich Castle Museum identified it as Iron Age gold.

Two years later, a further torc, weighing around a kilogram in gold, was discovered at the same site. Now known as the Great Torc, it is on permanent display at the British Museum in London.

Further searches in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to the discovery of five further hoards of bronze, silver and gold items.

Two of those items, which were found during excavations led by British Museum staff in 1990, are now on show in Lynn.

British Museum curator Julia Farley said she was "excited" that items of the treasure are going on display so close to where they were originally unearthed.

She said: "It's always a pleasure to share the British Museum collection with new audiences, and I hope that people will enjoy the chance to see these beautiful objects at King's Lynn Museum."

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the Norfolk County Council communities committee, which oversees the museum service, said: “It’s wonderful that these items can be seen in the county.

“Admission to Lynn Museum is free until the end of March so the display is truly accessible to everyone.”

The treasures will remain on display at the museum until August 18.

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