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1,481 kilometres away from home, 35 days of work, 271 finds recorded.

My name is Cristina and I have been volunteering at Salisbury Museum since 25 January 2016. I come from Italy and this is my first visit to England, I am really enjoying my experience. I am an archaeologist recently graduated from the University of Bologna and I am taking part in a European Erasmus + Project placement with the Finds Liaison Office (FLO) for Wiltshire.

My work is part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme project, which aims to promote the recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. This means that every day we identify, record and photograph finds discovered by metal detectorists or others, from the Wiltshire area.

My experience as a volunteer started when I was still in Italy and won a scholarship as a post-graduate trainee. I saw a job advertised online by Richard Henry, FLO at Salisbury Museum, and decided to apply. During my academic career in Italy, I focused on the Bronze Age period and so I was very excited to come to Salisbury, not far from Stonehenge and other important archaeological sites.

Of the many objects I have dealt with, I have selected three for this blog. The first object is a Roman nummus, a type of copper alloy coinage, common during the last centuries of the Roman Empire. This particular one was struck by Constantine the Great in AD 322 to celebrate his first twenty years of rule. The identification of Roman coins is really interesting for me and also important as a source of additional information about Roman history.

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The second object is a late Iron Age brooch dating to the period AD 20-100. The type style of this brooch is known as La Tène III.  La Tène style forms part of the European Iron Age culture which flourished in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and several eastern areas, under the influence of Greek, Etruscan and other Mediterranean peoples. The La Tène culture developed sophisticated metalwork in bronze, iron and gold, decorated with elegant linear designs. This brooch shows an integral spring mechanism typical of the La Tène style with a simple decoration comprising two parallel grooves with a series of punches running down through the bow.

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My last object is a finger ring of Medieval period, unfortunately incomplete and with only the bezel preserved. A great number of different incomplete objects are frequently found by detectorists and sometimes it is really striking how much information we can get from a single fragment!

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During the Middle Ages, people at all levels of society wore rings for many different reasons. It was common to wear more than one ring at a time on any finger of the hand, and to wear them sometimes over gloves. I chose this bezel because of the stunning gilded decoration showing a deer surrounded by leaves. On the upper part of the bezel is an inscription possibly linked to the owner.

If you would like to learn more about the Portable Antiquities Scheme visit the official website www.finds.org.uk.

My trainee at the museum will end the 31 of May. I have already learned many new things since it started and I am looking forward for more to come! Stay tuned!