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12-Year-Old Discovers Rare Roman Gold Bracelet During Dog Walk



Quick Smiles:

  • A 12-year-old boy, Rowan Brannan, stumbles upon an ancient treasure while walking his dog in Sussex, England.
  • The object, initially mistaken for packaging strapping, turns out to be a rare gold Roman bracelet dating back to the first century AD.
  • Rowan’s discovery is classified as ‘treasure’ by the British Museum, marking a fascinating journey of learning and excitement for the young adventurer and his family.

Rowan Brannan, a 12-year-old boy with a knack for finding interesting items, made an extraordinary discovery while on a routine walk with his mother, Amanda, and their dog in a field in Sussex, England. What his mother initially dismissed as mere packaging strapping turned out to be a golden artifact over 2,000 years old.

“Rowan has always been into finding all sorts of things. He’s very adventurous and is always picking stuff up off the ground,” said his mom. “I’m forever saying ‘put it down—it’s dirty.”

The object was covered in dirt, but the more Rowan held it, the more he felt it could be genuine gold. “It was just normal to me, because I pick up a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t,” said the young explorer.

After taking the piece home, Rowan researched how to identify real gold. It met all the criteria on his checklist, but the true significance of his find was not realized until a visiting hairdresser, who was planning a metal detecting trip, saw the piece.

She took a photo and showed it to the leader of her metal detecting group, who suggested it looked old and recommended they contact a British Finds Officer.

Rowan described how the excitement kept building over the months following his discovery. He learned that the find was classified as ‘treasure’ because it was older than 300 years and was made of a precious metal.

“Then it got to the treasure process,” said the thrilled boy.


The family was asked to bring the item to Horsham to the Finds Liaison Officer because the artifact belongs to the nation. Amanda described the process as ‘fascinating’, with the family learning more and more about the bracelet as it went through the Coroner’s Court.

“It’s very exciting whenever we read an email and we have been kept up to date throughout the whole process.”

After careful study, officials informed Rowan that he had uncovered an “exceptionally rare” armilla Roman bracelet, a fact that was confirmed by the British Museum.

Amanda explained, “Our understanding is an armilla bracelet was given to the Roman soldiers as a mark of respect and valor and service. It’s been brilliantly fascinating. We have learned so many things and it is quite lovely to still be involved, so we can follow its story. It’s like, ‘Wow, imagine who wore that’. We’ve had a piece of history in our house.”

This discovery might just be the spark that inspires the next generation of adventurers. So, let’s encourage our kids to keep exploring and who knows, they might just unearth a piece of history!