Man Gets Lost During Treasure Hunt, He Discovers a Valuable Bronze Age Hoard

Back in 2020, a man named John Belgrove took part in a treasure hunt at a private farmland in the village of Stalbridge in Dorset Count, UK. After getting lost, Belgrove stumbled upon a valuable Bronze Age hoard that was estimated to be worth $21,500.

Belgrove paid £20 ($25.4) to take part in the treasure hunt alongside 40 other metal detectorists. After a while, he got separated from the rest of the group and decided to do some exploring by himself. At one point, his metal-detecting device sounded off, and he started digging. After removing the ground, he discovered a palstave axe head, a bangle with incised decoration, and a rapier sword broken into three pieces.

Experts estimated that the Stalbridge Hoard is dated to the 13th century BCE. The rapier was particularly intriguing as it was deliberately broken off and had a hilt that was designed to resemble a wooden handle. Only two similar, uncompleted swords like this have been discovered in Britain in the past.

Stalbridge Hoard is now residing in the Dorset Museum and Art Gallery, which acquired it after collecting $21,500 through donations.

“This hoard is incredibly special. The rapier sword is really unusual because of the cast bronze handle. The bracelet decoration was quite unusual as well,” Elizabeth Selby, director of collections at Dorset Museum, told The Guardian. “There aren’t really any comparable objects like the rapier, so to be able to acquire these items is really important for us.

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