As a metal detecting enthusiast, Diss resident Andy Nock says it is rare to come upon an artefact dating back over two millennia — and even rarer for it to be in such good condition.
So it was to his great surprise when, stopping off on a small silage field near Diss, on his way home from buying a used metal detector, he picked up a loud signal that eventually led him to unearth a Bronze Age spearhead and part of a sword from the same era.
Although he thought they might be pieces of a modern tool or farming machinery at first, it was only after cleaning the finds that he thought there was something more to them.
A local finds liasion officer confirmed the spearhead was about 2,500 years old, and they were shocked by the condition it was preserved in, discovering traces of wood from the original shaft still inside the spearhead.
This led to his discovery being featured in February’s Treasure Hunting magazine.
Mr Nock, who lives in Ensign Way, told the Diss Express: “It’s quite a nice find.
“It could mean that there was a burial there and maybe a mound that has long since been ploughed away.
“I think once the farmer turns up with the plough, it will turn up more pieces. It’s quite exciting.”
First taking up metal detecting back in 1998, Mr Nock said many of his searches brought up scrap, but he had in the past unearthed old coins, buckles and broaches from centuries ago.
He explained his interest was in discovering the artefacts, rather than trying to find something valuable to sell later.
“Once you start, it’s exciting to see what you are going to find,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how expensive the detector is — a lot of what you find could be considered junk.
“It’s not about the treasure hunting. I don’t do it for that. It’s about getting out and having a good time.”
He added that he was seeking new permissions from landowners to go metal detecting, and he was happy to offer his services free of charge to anyone who wanted to find out what artefacts were lying on their land, or who needed help retrieving a lost item.
If you would like to get in touch with Mr Nock, he can be contacted on 07884 330516.