Bronze Age axeheads found by detectorists working at Ipswich’s Chantry Park
PUBLISHED: 19:00 02 March 2020
Two Bronze Age axeheads, believed to be more than 3,000 years old, have been discovered by metal detectorists helping Ipswich council with the restoration of Chantry Park Wilderness Pond.
They were found on Sunday by a team from the Ipswich Metal Detector Club who have been called in to check the soil and silt that is being disturbed while the pond is being dredged to make it safe to re-introduce fish.
One of the team carrying out the restoration, Simon Fletcher of RG Carter, is a keen member of the club and is leading the detectorists who check the soil and silt at weekends to check whether anything has been turned up.
The site is not accessible to the general public and has tight security because of the potentially dangerous equipment that is being used by the contractors RG Carter and Stillwater Management.
You may also want to watch:
Mr Fletcher said he knew what the axeheads were immediately: "I've seen things like this before, but I've never found one myself. There were five of us working here on Sunday and these were found by two people who brought them to me because I'm organising the team.
"They're quite good examples, you can see what they are. They're not particularly rare or valuable but they're very interesting because they show that there were Bronze Age people living here."
Ipswich council portfolio holder for the environment Phil Smart admired them and expected them to stay in the borough. He said: "They were found on our land by a team working with us, so I expect they may well end up in the Ipswich Museum. They are now part of the story of the town."
Dr Frank Hargrave from Ipswich and Colchester Museums said they were probably from the late Bronze Age when a volcanic eruption in the Aegean changed the climate across Europe and led to the end of the Bronze Age culture - which eventually led to the birth of the Iron Age.
He said: "The importance of this find is that we know exactly where they were. Items found in the 19th century were not as well recorded. They would have been used for chopping, but also quite possibly in battle - and they would have been polished and looked quite spectacular. These were items of high status and something to be shown off as well as being in everyday use by whoever owned them."