A rare collection of Saxon artefacts has been found by a man from east Kent.
The Anglo-Saxon findings could be part of a grave date back to the sixth century and are said to be worth more than £40,000.
Two Saxon pins, part of a buckle or belt and seven brooches were found on land next to the A20 towards Maidstone.
Greg Sweetman, of Westcourt Lane, Shepherdswell, was the first person to find one of the brooches when metal detecting.
Mr Sweetman said that the finds were made at his first club dig with the Medway History Finders.
On finding a large square-ended Saxon brooch, Mr Sweetman [Link to his pics] and the group decided to dig further and discovered the hoard of artefacts including hair pins and circular and square brooches. The brooches are mostly silver with red garnet.
He added: “The first find was a broken Saxon pin at about six inches down. Not being too knowledgeable as to what it was, I showed Kevin Reader, the vice-chairman of the club, and he advised me to re-check the hole as it was not a common find.”
Pete Clarke, a member of the Medway History Finders, added: “It’s a very significant find. Chances are they might be able to find who is in there.”
Mr Clarke said that usually, with a Saxon burial of someone of high status, they would be buried with a spear, so the excavators will be looking for signs that will reveal whether or not the site is part of an Anglo-Saxon grave.
The group cut a metre by metre square hole, so the rest of the area will need to be searched.
The hoard has now been passed on to a coroner who will confirm the date of the artefacts and offer them to the British Museum.
Mr Clarke, 53, said that he didn’t want the first time the public saw the findings to be when they’re polished and cleaned in the British Museum.
He said: “It’s far more exciting to see them dug up from the ground.”