'High status' Roman gold ring found in Somerset field

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Media captionThe ring is thought to be 24 carat gold with an onyx engraving of the god Victory

An amateur detectorist has found what is believed to be one of the most significant archaeological finds in Somerset's recent history.

Jason Massey discovered a Roman gold signet ring with an engraving of the god Victory in a field near Crewkerne.

Experts at the British Museum are yet to assess the ring but it is thought to date from 200 to 300 AD.

The coin was found at the same site where Mr Massey and friends found a Roman lead-lined coffin in November.

High status villa

Mr Massey, who is part of the Detecting for Veterans group, uncovered 60 other Roman coins on Sunday before he found what he thought was his first gold coin.

It turned out to be the the 48g (1.7oz) ring.

Mr Massey said he believes the site may have once housed a "very high status Roman villa".

"There's load of figures floating about [for the value of the ring] but we're interested in the villa, who's lived there and where they've come from and who the person was that wore this ring," he said.

Ciorstaidh Hayward-Trevarthen, finds liaison officer for South West Heritage Trust, said "There are a couple of gold rings of that sort of date from Somerset but they're not common.

"Gold is... an indication that the owner is fairly wealthy."

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