A treasure hunter has found a rare 2,000-year-old Roman pendant in a field in a Cheshire village. Luke Sansom was searching with a metal detector in Farndon, near Chester, when he stumbled across the silver piece. Made with carnelian gemstone, it features a fallen soldier or gladiator holding a shield towards what appears to be a large cat or panther. Cheshire assistant coroner Dr Janet Napier declared the find to be treasure at an inquest at Warrington Town Hall. The pendant will now be valued by the British Museum.
The Grosvenor Museum in Chester has expressed an interest in buying it and Mr Sansom, of Saltney near Chester, would stand to receive half the money, with the rest going to the owner of the field. Elizabeth Montgomery, the museum’s collections officer, said that It is a rare find especially with the image of the soldier fighting with the large cat or panther.
The gemstone certainly dates back to the Roman era around the first century BC but the pendant is a bit older. It is late Roman or early Anglo-Saxon and would have belonged to someone wealthy. Chester had a big Roman military garrison but this was found outside the city walls.