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 Reading Upperintermediate Text 6

50 greatest national treasures revealed

They are the hidden gems discovered by amateur treasure hunters, shedding new light on the story of our islands.

After sifting through hundreds of thousands of submissions, a panel of archaeological experts have chosen what they consider are the 50 greatest treasures discovered in the past 15 years.

From rare Iron Age jewels to an antique prosthetic nose - the Tudor alternative to cosmetic surgery - they include extraordinary artefacts that lay untouched for centuries.

Each item was judged on its national, historical and cultural significance and will feature on the ITV series Britain’s Secret Treasures.

Since the British Museum launched a scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales 15 years ago, it has documented 800,000 items, many found because of the booming popularity of metal-detecting.

Roger Bland, the Keeper of the museum’s Portable Antiquities and Treasure, said: "We were looking for finds that had a truly interesting story to tell. The key thing about these 50 is that they each act as springboards for telling us more and about the past.

"Before the Portable Antiquities Scheme, there was no attempt to record objects that were found by members of the public so history was being lost, disappearing on to the open market.

"Now, the database is an extraordinary source of information and with their finds, amateur metal detectors are literally transforming our knowledge of the past.”

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