He Finds An Old Chain With His Metal Detector, Has No Clue What’s Waiting For Him

Published on 08/18/2019
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Mike was out one normal day with his metal detector, searching for buried treasure. All of a sudden his wandering mind was jolted awake as he heard the furious beeping of the machine. Even though adrenaline coursed through his veins, as usual, he had absolutely no idea that this find would be completely different. He ended up getting the authorities involved this time around!

A Rainy Day

This man found himself outdoors during a regular rainy day. The good thing was that he has gotten used to this weather because of his hobby. Despite the bad weather, he still derived pleasure from the rhythmic back and forth movements he had to do as he swung the machine from the left to the right above the grassy soil.

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A Rainy Day

Favorite Childhood Games

Buried treasure is the kind of thing that fascinates every single child out there. Many games come with the end goal of finding certain things. We all loved ‘hide and seek’ as well as ‘Easter egg hunts’, right? There is something exciting about finding something after putting a lot of effort into seeking it out.

Favorite Childhood Games

Favorite Childhood Games

Hard Work Pays Off

There is something exciting about finding an object after putting a lot of effort into seeking it out. This was definitely the case on this rainy day for the curious man and his metal detector. What he found today is something he never expected to find.

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Hard Work Pays Off

A History Nerd

Mike Smith is a huge history enthusiast, and he simply cannot get over the idea of finding some treasure that has been buried beneath the earth a long time ago. Some would say it’s his favorite thing in the world.

A History Nerd

A History Nerd

Unique Hobby

On an average day, it is not uncommon to find people shopping or watching television. However, Mike is not your regular guy. His hobby happens to be going through a field with his metal detector!

Unique Hobby

Unique Hobby

Holding Out Hope

He does not always find anything huge or important, but the addictive quality of hope has brought him back there every single time. Mike frequently visits areas he thinks might be successful for his searches, and sometimes his hard work pays off.

Holding Out Hope

Holding Out Hope

Not For Everyone

It is certainly not a common hobby because not everyone has the tenacity to brave the weather conditions in Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom. It is often rainy and wet in this particular area that Mike lives in.

Not For Everyone

Not For Everyone

Slim Odds

On top of this, there is a very slim chance of finding anything noteworthy in the area. Old pennies are not worth much, after all. However, he turned out to have a lot of luck on that particular day.

Slim Odds

Slim Odds

Turn Of Events

Very much to his dismay, he discovered that the field he liked to take his metal detector out to best was waterlogged from the steady downpour that happened in the past week. Despite this letdown, he felt determined to continue.

Turn Of Events

Turn Of Events

Hint Of Luck

He had the oddest feeling that it was going to be his lucky day. As he went to a different field, he did not have a single clue that something valuable was just lying in wait.

Hint Of Luck

Hint Of Luck

Not Giving Up

As he went to a different field, he did not have a single clue that something valuable was just lying in wait. He would soon feel grateful and excited that he decided not to give up hope today.

Not Giving Up

Not Giving Up

Something There

Mike had been sweeping his metal detector over the wide arc of the field when he heard its telltale beep. He started to walk around, but it continued to beep. This was unusual, so he was starting to get confused.

Something There

Something There

Not Giving Up Hope

He was initially puzzled, although he thought that this did not mean anything more than a faulty detector. He started to give up hope of finding anything, but his instincts told him not to quit just yet.

Not Giving Up Hope

Not Giving Up Hope

What Could It Be?

This was the only possibility aside from the thought that there was something huge underneath. There was only one thing to do to find out. Mike was not about to give up now, as his curiosity was only increasing by the minute. Could this be the biggest day of his life?

What Could It Be

What Could It Be?

Imagination Gone Wild

Mike had no choice but to start digging; after all, he couldn’t ignore that there was a chance that something incredible beneath the ground. Ideas started running through his mind and he couldn’t shake the feeling that something big was about to happen to him.

Imagination Gone Wild

Imagination Gone Wild

Digging Through The Dirt

He had to abandon the piece of equipment, pull out a trowel, and then start to dig. The wet dirt did not stand a chance, and he soon found a round chunk of metal in the soil.

Digging Through The Dirt

Digging Through The Dirt

Digging Deep

He used his hands to dig through it until he got a solid grip on it. He then tried to pull it out with all the might he could muster. What could possibly be buried here?

Digging Deep

Digging Deep

More And More

This rusty piece of metal just would not move no matter how much he tried to pull it out. Mike decided he would have better luck if he dug around this mystery object.

More And More

More And More

Can’t Give Up Now

As he started to clear the soil around the metal thing, he learned that it was actually connected to something else. What could it be? What was so heavy underneath this soil that he couldn’t move it even one inch, no matter how much he tried to? He couldn’t stop now!

Can't Give Up Now

Can’t Give Up Now

Uncovering The Mystery

He kept digging and then uncovered another link, and then a third one. When the realization dawned upon him, he felt a chill run through his body. He couldn’t believe what he was looking at.

Uncovering The Mystery

Uncovering The Mystery

A Chain Link

He had stumbled into a strange object, that much was clear. It came with iron links that did not seem to end. He unraveled more things as he went deeper into the soil. What was it attached to?

A Chain Link

A Chain Link

Left In The Dark

As he went on, he eventually realized that it was turning into night. He could not help but curse when he found out that he did not have a flashlight on him. He couldn’t solve the mystery within the day.

Left In The Dark

Left In The Dark

The Stuff Of Nightmares

He hardly got some shut-eye that same night, and he told only his closest friends about what he saw. Mike came up with several theories about what he might find connected to that rusty old chain.

The Stuff Of Nightmares

The Stuff Of Nightmares

It Could Be Dangerous

Could there be something terrible down there? Mike was starting to get worried that he was not uncovering something unique and awesome, but rather something that someone did not want to be discovered, let alone uncovered and dug up…

It Could Be Dangerous

It Could Be Dangerous

Thinking Positive Thoughts

He previously read about old burial sites that were lying underneath Pembrokeshire, although this was not a comforting thought whatsoever. Could this be one of those sites? He was hoping it wasn’t, but he had no idea what he was about to uncover. He was getting nervous.

Thinking Positive Thoughts

Thinking Positive Thoughts

Scared And Nervous

This uncertainty only filled him with a sense of horror! He knew he needed to think more positively in such an uncertain situation. He wasn’t going to walk away from this scene, but he was anxious to see what would happen next.

Scared And Nervous

Scared And Nervous

Mysteries All-Around

It was not lost on him that Pembrokeshire has been described to be a land of enchantment and mystery by the unknown author of the 11-century folktale collection known as The Mabinogion. Anything could be possible.

Mysteries All Around

Mysteries All Around

Surrounded By The Sea

The last rocky Welsh outpost is surrounded by the Celtic Sea and continues to be steeped in myth and legend. There was so much mystery and there were so many questions about what Mike was about to find.

Surrounded By The Sea

Surrounded By The Sea

What Was In Store For Him

It is no wonder it has since become known as one of the world’s most haunted places. However, Mike did not know that he was about to go face-to-face with the eerie past of the country.

What Was In Store For Him

What Was In Store For Him

By Daybreak

As soon as the day broke out, he already found himself outside. He headed for the site right away. He needed to find out what was lying at the other end of that mysterious chain.

By Daybreak

By Daybreak

Getting The Authorities Involved

What secrets could be lying there for such a long time? He did not think that it would lead to authorities on the field later that day. What was about to happen would surprise everyone who was helping out at the scene.

Getting The Authorities Involved

Getting The Authorities Involved

Something Chilling

Mike found the site the same way he left it. He was ready to get back to digging, although he was feeling some trepidation this time around. As he uncovered more of this strange object, he noticed something.

Something Chilling

Something Chilling

Close To Solving The Mystery

The trowel then hit a smooth surface. He could not stop his eyes from going wide when he wiped off the dirt and found something brown and hard. He couldn’t believe what he was looking at.

Close To Solving The Mystery

Close To Solving The Mystery

A Sinister Find

He was a metal detecting hobbyist, so he knew the laws that came with his findings. However, not once did he expect he would have to call the authorities. He had never been in this situation before!

A Sinister Find

A Sinister Find

Uncovering The Bones

The dig had been nothing more than a fun excursion in the beginning, but he learned that he was out of his depth as soon as he discovered human remains. There could be so many outcomes from this discovery…

Uncovering The Bones

Uncovering The Bones

He Needed Help

Mike inspected the object he had in his hands and was terrified when it dawned on him that he was holding a tooth! To be specific, it was a molar. He shuddered when he realized that something was amiss here.

He Needed Help

He Needed Help

Calling Someone To Help

He dropped his tools right away and quickly grabbed his phone, and then dialed an important number. His fingers were shaking the whole time. However, he did not get the reaction he had been expecting.

Calling Someone To Help

Calling Someone To Help

Ringing The Authorities

Mike got in touch with the officials at the National Museum of Wales before anyone else. However, they only laughed at him when he made the call! They didn’t believe a word he was saying to them!

Ringing The Authorities

Ringing The Authorities

He Wasn’t Lying

“What the archaeologists said at the time was that because there had never been a find down here before, they didn’t believe it,” he recounted during an interview. How could he prove that he was telling the truth?

He Wasn't Lying

He Wasn’t Lying

How To Convince Them

Mike needed to convince them that he was telling the truth, so he dropped that he had reason to believe that there were human remains there. As soon as he said this, they changed their attitude in no time.

How To Convince Them

How To Convince Them

They Were Speechless

They asked him to guide them there. “The look on their faces when they saw it said it all,” he said. Mike was just thankful that they took him seriously and came to help him.

They Were Speechless

They Were Speechless

The Excavation Process

This was how the excavation began that June. Archaeologists found two rusted iron chariot wheels. This was what they needed to confirm that this was a promising discovery. It was a Celtic chariot burial site!

The Excavation Process

The Excavation Process

Bragging To His Friends

“My first find was a Celtic horse harness junction piece,” Mike informed reporters. “When I found it my friends said I would never top it, but the next day I went back and found the rest.” There was more.

Bragging To His Friends

Bragging To His Friends

What Else Was There?

After he dug a hole around eight inches deep into the ground, Mike discovered other decorative items such as a brooch, bronze bridle fittings, and some tool handles. What were these items from? He couldn’t wait until everything was pieced together properly.

What Else Was There?

What Else Was There?

Entering With Caution

All of these items had turned green from all the corrosion, although the bronze bits were still wrapped in bright red enamel. He wanted to be very careful with these items, of course, as he didn’t know if they were valuable!

Entering With Caution

Entering With Caution

He Was Blown Away

“This is unprecedented,” he said, “and underneath the chariot, there is still the three-meter metal anomaly. If you go by other chariot finds there could be weapons or it could even be treasure.” He couldn’t believe what he found.

He Was Blown Away

He Was Blown Away

Achieving His Dream

It was not unheard of to find a burial chariot dating from the period all over Europe. However, what made it so special was the fact that this was the first one they found in the United Kingdom.

Achieving His Dream

Achieving His Dream

Is This Real Life?

“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “Obviously I’ve read other people’s finds. I’ve watched them on the telly, and I’ve always thought, I wouldn’t mind finding that, it’s still surreal, and life-changing.” He thought he was dreaming!

Is This Real Life

Is This Real Life?

A Gut Feeling

He went on, “It was just instinct. I’d read all about chariot burials and just wished it could have been me, so finding this has been a privilege.” Now that his hobby has led to a major discovery, the location has since come under legal protection.

A Gut Feeling

A Gut Feeling

Seeking Answers

Aside from that, Mike needed to sell the artifacts that he got there from the day before the actual excavation under the law. What did he get anyway? There were so many things that he found that he wanted answers about.

Seeking Answers

Seeking Answers

Following The Law

Aside from that, Mike needed to sell all of the artifacts that he got there, even from the day before the actual excavation; it was a very strict law he was dealing with. What did he get, anyway?

Selling His Findings

Following The Law

Selling Everything He Found

Overall, he discovered a total of 34 items. They were then sold to the museum, but it is good to hear that he got compensated for them handsomely. He needed to split the profit he made with the person who owned the land he discovered them in.

Selling Everything He Found

Selling Everything He Found

High Demand Findings

The treasure has since become a very sought-after prize! As a testament to that, the National Museum of Wales also wanted to get them for the archives. Mike couldn’t believe that what started as a regular day became something he’d remember forever.

High Demand Findings

High Demand Findings

Exciting Iron Age Discovery

A National Museum of Wales spokesman said the site was a very exciting Iron Age discovery that could be developed into a bigger project in the future. “Full excavation of the site and analysis of the find will need to be carried out before we can fully understand its importance. The site now enjoys legal protection.” They added: “A preliminary excavation of the site where the artifacts were found was carried out jointly by Amgueddfa Cymru and Dyfed Archaeological Trust over the summer, partly funded by Cadw.”

Exciting Iron Age Discovery

Exciting Iron Age Discovery

Significant

This discovery revealed more significant and exciting discoveries at a once unknown Iron Age archaeological site. The spokesperson went on and said, “Amgueddfa Cymru is working with its partners on this continuing treasure case and in developing a detailed and fully funded proposal for further investigation. It is intended that a wider museum project will be developed, to offer opportunities for local communities to become involved in revealing new stories about their prehistoric past,”

Significant

Significant

Rare Opportunity

Mike, of Milford Haven, knew just how incredible his find was, saying: “It’s rare to find it in that good condition – it’s rare to find in any condition.” Clearly, he’s done extensive research on the matter and didn’t think lightly of this discovery.

Rare Opportunity

Rare Opportunity

Ongoing Treasure

Another joint statement went on to say: “These are now the subject of an ongoing treasure case in Wales.” A preliminary excavation of the site where the artifacts were found was carried out by Amgueddfa Cymru and Dyfed Archaeological Trust together over the summer and was partly funded by Cadw.

Ongoing Treasure

Ongoing Treasure

Young Enthusiast

Since the age of 12, Mike has been a metal-detectorist when he got a metal detector as a Christmas gift from his dad. Ever since then, it has become a huge part of his life. For this reason, Mike dedicated this incredible find to his 79-year-old dad, John Smith, who is getting palliative care after a stroke.

Young Enthusiast

Young Enthusiast

The Ancient Discovery

He has gone on the record with this comment: “I knew the importance of them straight away….I’d read all about chariot burials and just wished it could have been me, so finding this has been a privilege.” The chariot is believed to be roughly 2,500 years old. However, they did not find human remains.

The Ancient Discovery

The Ancient Discovery

Old Traditions

There is still plenty of conjecture about whether a queen or a chieftain had been buried with the chariot. They found a tooth, although it seemed to belong to a horse that they believe was buried along with it.

Old Traditions

Old Traditions

Buried Wheels

High-ranking chiefs of the Iron Age normally got buried with their horses, chariot, tack, and weapons. During the excavation, they found the tops of a set of chariot wheels. “Often the wheels were laid flat,” Mike explained.

Buried Wheels

Buried Wheels

In Disbelief

“But this one appeared to have been buried intact. It could have had the chieftain or queen sitting in it. There would have been a mound over it but that has gone.” He was in disbelief still, by the incredible discovery he made.

In Disbelief

In Disbelief

Straight Out Of Sci-Fi

After they quarantined the site to restrict access by the general public, they ran a ground-penetrating radar over the field. What they found would make you think this is a science fiction novel or movie!

Straight Out Of Sci-Fi

Straight Out Of Sci-Fi

Technology

Survey work involved the use of some pretty sophisticated geophysical technology. It let them map structure lying far below the earth. They found a ring ditch, which is a 12-meter circular earthwork, around the site.

Technology

Technology

More Ring Ditches

They also found two other burials, also located in ring ditches. Soon after this, they discovered a complex of walls and other similar features. This convinced researchers that this was a Celtic settlement that has remained hidden for a long time! “The actual field is very large and it is only in the corner of this field. But the settlement is also going into other nearby fields,” Mike explained.

More Ring Ditches

More Ring Ditches

How To Go About It

Adam Gwilt is the principal curator of prehistoric archaeology at the museum. He explained, “These chariot pieces may have been witness to some of the historical events of the time, as Iron Age peoples defended their ways of life and identities…”

How To Go About It

How To Go About It

What Comes Next

“…in the face of an expanding Roman empire. Something like this takes a lot of organization and funding as well so we’ve been working with a number of partners to put together what’s needed to do a continuing investigation.” Mike was so proud of what he’d found, and Adam Gwilt couldn’t believe it either. So what comes next?

190521794.jpg.gallery

What Comes Next

A Work In Progress

He went on to say, “Something like this takes a lot of organization and funding as well so we’ve been working with a number of partners to put together what’s needed to do a continuing investigation.” There was one more question that everyone wanted to hear the answer to. How much was it worth?

A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

From The Iron Age

“You’re definitely talking six or seven figures,” Mike Smith speculated. “It’s the biggest ever metal detecting find, as in there’s never been a chariot ever discovered by a metal detectorist. There have been hoards found, but never anything like this.” We have to say that we feel a tinge of jealousy about the fact that he expects to net as much as £1 million for the discovery he made. Whoa.

From The Iron Age

From The Iron Age

The Celts

One question that remains is: who were the Celts? As it turns out, the answer isn’t quite simple. The Celts were a collection of tribes that originated in central Europe. They shared a similar language, religious beliefs, traditions, and culture. it’s believed that Celtic culture began to evolve as early as 1200 B.C. Over time, the Celts spread out throughout western Europe, including Spain, France, Ireland, and Britain. To this day, their legacy is prominent in Ireland and Great Britain, where traces of their language and culture are still present.

The Celts

The Celts

Early Documentation

The first documentation of the Celts was in the seventh or eighth century B.C. At the time, the Roman Empire ruled most of southern Europe and referred to the Celts as “Galli” which means barbarians.

Early Documentation

Early Documentation

False Belief

Despite the Romans’ belief, the Celts (pronounced with a hard “c” or “k” sound) were anything but barbarians. Many aspects of their culture and language have survived throughout the centuries and even to this day.

False Belief

False Belief

Lands

The Celts controlled a lot of the European continent north of the Alps mountain range by the third century B.C., including present-day Ireland and Great Britain. These islands off of Europe’s western coast are the ones that allowed the Celtic culture to survive and thrive as the Roman Empire expanded on the European continent. Starting with the reign of Julius Caesar in the first century B.C., the Romans launched a military operation again the Celts. The Romans ended up killing Celts by the thousands and destroyed their culture in a lot of mainland Europe.

Lands

Lands

Long-Lasting Traditions

The Roman armies tried to invade Britain during this time but weren’t successful. Thanks to their failure, the Celtic people were able to establish a homeland there. As a result, a lot of their cultural traditions are still evident in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, even today.

Long Lasting Traditions

Long Lasting Traditions

Isolation

Brittany, the region in the northwestern corner of present-day France, was settled with Britons and Gauls. The Celtic tradition survived in the region since it was isolated from the rest of France, and a lot of festivals and events can trave their origins back to Celtic times. A lot of French “Bretons” also happen to wear traditional Celtic hats called coiffes (meaning “hats of lace”), and about one-quarter of the region’s residents speak Breton, a Celtic language that’s similar to Welsh.

Isolation

Isolation

Conquer

Despite the fact that Caesar’s invasion of Britain wasn’t successful, the Romans eventually had a successful attack against the Britons after Caesar’s murder in the first century A.D. This pushed the Britons on the island west to Wales and Cornwall and north to Scotland. As it turns out, the Romans actually built Hadrian’s Wall near what is now the border between England and Scotland, in 120 A.D. The wall was meant to protect the Roman settlers from the Celts who had fled north.

Conquer

Conquer

Welsh

In Wales, named Cymru by the Celts, the native tongue, Welsh, is a Celtic language that is still widely spoken in the region today. In Cornwall, a lot of residents still speak Cornish, which is similar to Welsh and Breton.

Welsh

Welsh

Scots Gaelic

In Scotland, the Celtic language Scots Gaelic is spoken, although by a minority, and the local affiliate of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is known as BBC Alba, the Celtic name for the region. Naturally, the bagpipes, the musical instrument that Scotland is best known for, can also be traced back to its Celtic roots.

Scots Gaelic

Scots Gaelic

Unsuccessful

Even though the Anglo-Saxons, who took what is now England from the Romans in the fifth century A.D., tried, they weren’t able to successfully invade Ireland. Because of this, the Celtic tribes were able to settle there – namely, the Gaels and the Irish – to survive, and allowed their culture to flourish.

Unsuccessful

Unsuccessful

Christianization

In 432 A.D., when Christianity arrived in Ireland with St. Patrick, a lot of Celtic traditions were incorporated into the “new” religion. In fact, it’s said by some historians that one of the main reasons Catholicism was able to take over as the dominant religion on the island after the mass killing of Druids, the religious leader of the Gaels.

Christianization

Christianization

The Shamrock

All the same, even with Christianity’s newfound prominence, traces of Celtic culture remain. For instance, Ireland’s national symbol, the shamrock (a green, three-pronged leaf) represents the “Holy Trinity” of Catholic tradition – the Father (God), Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

The Shamrock

The Shamrock

Gaelic

To top it off, the Celtic cross represents the region’s unique take on the Catholic cross. In addition, a lot of Celtic folklore stories, are still told in Ireland. Like Welsh, the Irish language, Gaelic, is a Celtic language. For the most part, Gaelic disappeared in the 19th century, when the English colonized Ireland, but the language is still spoken in the western part of the country.

Gaelic

Gaelic

The Gauls

A Celtic group of people who occupied part of western-central Europe during the Iron Age was the Gauls. They were fearsome warriors who would cut off the heads of their enemies and hang them on their horses for everyone to see. Some would go as far as attaching the heads of fallen foes to their shields to scare their enemies when they went into battle.

The Gauls

The Gauls

Key To The Soul

Celts had a strong belief that the head was the key to the soul and represented a way to communicate with the afterlife. One historian wrote that Gauls were tall, light-skinned, light-haired, and light-eyed.

Key To The Soul

Key To The Soul

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