The gold earring unearthed in a field at Norfold has many typical symbols of the ancient Romans such as a laurel wreath and an eagle.

Ancient gold earrings unearthed in a field in Norfolk. Photo: BBC

After several failed searches, metal detectorist Nick Bateman from Burston, Norfolk, discovered the rare gold earrings while running a detector in an open field in the north of the county on Christmas Eve last year. Ancient Origins reported on December 28.

At first, Bateman thought the earrings were medieval artifacts, but a jewelry expert confirmed the item dated from the time the Roman army invaded Britain. Bateman shared that at first the signal was very weak, but when he dug 7-10 cm deep to check, he discovered gold metal mixed in between the soil layer. Bateman brushed aside the mud and realized it was a pair of earrings.

Consisting of two circular gold pieces carefully welded together, the earring model measures 20.5 x 22.1 mm. Upon closer inspection, numismatist Adrian Marsden of the Norfolk Historic Environment Agency noticed a small cross below the laurel wreath and eagle. According to him, that is a typical design commonly found in Roman objects. The researcher believes that the original earring model had two hoops, one to wear in the ear and one to hang, allowing the earring to sway and sparkle in the sunlight.

Roman women often wore, collected, and viewed jewelry as an ultimate symbol of social status. They often adorn themselves with necklaces, jeweled bracelets, gold and silver rings, as well as wearing a set of earrings.

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