A MAGNIFICENT 2,000 year-old silver-gilt Roman helmet found in a field near Hallaton was unveiled at the British Museum.
The find, of international importance, was conserved and reconstructed at the museum.
The “Hallaton Helmet” was found ten years ago by members of the Hallaton Fieldwork Group and professional archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services who were excavating the remains of a 2,000-year-old Iron Age shrine.
Archaeologists who made the original discovery - and used to finding more glamorous gold and silver coins - joked they had found a fairly modern “rusty bucket”.
However, their discovery turned out to be a hugely significant archaeological find.
It is the only Roman helmet found in Britain with the majority of the silver-gilt plating surviving, and one of only a handful ever discovered. It is also one of Britain’s earliest Roman helmets.
Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, the Hallaton Helmet was restored before being unveiled at the British Museum this morning (Tuesday, January 10)
David Sprason, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for Adults and Communities, said: “The unveiling of this thrilling discovery is a tremendously exciting event. That we have reached this stage is thanks to the successful partnership between the county council, world class experts at the British Museum, the dedicated archaeologists involved and our generous funding organisations.”
Marilyn Hockey, head of Ceramics, Glass and Metals Conservation at the British Museum, said: “This was one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of my career. It has been a long job, and I have come to know this object intimately! But I have felt enormously privileged to have had the chance to work on such a unique and fascinating piece of our history.
“It’s wonderful to be able to coax something like this out of the soil and to allow it to show itself off again.”
The Hallaton Helmet will be displayed permanently at Harborough Museum from Saturday, January 28 2012 alongside the other finds from the Hallaton Treasure.