Listen to the sound of the Iron Age. Here is musician John Kenny playing a replica of the Deskford carnyx, an Iron Age war trumpet that dates from 80-200AD. The original was found in Scotland and is the only one known in Britain – until recently.

A miniature one was found in Surrey by a metal detectorist. Most people would think it should have been donated to a museum yet it has just been sold at auction for a modest £3,400, hardly a king’s ransom after commission and sharing with the landowner.

How did this happen? How could a detectorist with 30 years of experience ignore the obvious fact that it belonged in a museum and should have been donated? And what of the landowner? Who advised him in the matter? Would he have acted differently if he had been asked?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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