Roman jug handle

Graham finds buried Roman beach treasure
Graham Ryan, of Beckfoot, discovered a silver Roman jug handle on the beach close to his home that could be around 1,900 years old according to experts from the British Museum. Mr Ryan, 63, made the lucky find while out sweeping the beach with his metal detector. He said: “I think from being a boy, I always thought I’d find treasure.”
A keen member of the Senhouse Museum Archaeology Society, Mr Ryan is often to be found exploring the site of the Roman fort.
It once formed part of the western sea defences, a line of forts and watch towers strung along the north-western coastline of Cumbria.
Mr Ryan said the history of the settlement, known in Roman times as Bibra, is a big draw for those hoping to find artefacts from the past. I went into metal detecting to add another string to my bow. Beckfoot has a cemetery and with the soil erosion I have found cremation urns too. I also once found an altar stone, but nothing like this before.”
His house is decorated with the urn fragments from Beckfoot’s Roman past and Mr Ryan is joined in his enthusiasm for unearthing them by neighbours living close to the site: “You are just hoping that one day you will find the big one. But, we’ve had some lovely finds.”
This latest discovery was ruled treasure at Carlisle Coroners’ Court by North and West Cumbria Coroner, John Taylor, because of its age and because it is made almost 100 per cent from silver.
The court heard last week that the stylised snake’s head shaped handle dates from between the first and fourth centuries.
Senhouse Roman Museum at Maryport have expressed an interest in adding Mr Ryan’s find to its Roman collection.
The handle will now be valued to determine its worth and any reward Mr Ryan can claim for finding it.
Reported as Viking earlier: Viking treasure found on Silloth beach – includes picture

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