A UNIQUE Roman oil lamp and a bronze arm purse found in a farmer's field have been declared treasure trove.
The purse – one of only three found in Britain – was unearthed with
the decorated oil lamp and four silver coins by Huddersfield garden centre manager Andrew Harper, who had permission to use his metal detector on a farm near Tadcaster – the Roman settlement of Calcaria.
Simon Holmes, of the national Portable Antiquities Scheme based at the Yorkshire Museum in York, told a Selby inquest yesterday that the Roman dinari coins dated the finds as no later than 180AD.
He said the British Museum had nothing remotely like the lamp, which was probably made in Italy in the first century AD, and he added: "I would say it is unique."
The arm purse, worn on the wrist or upper arm, was a military object.
"In modern terms, it's a squaddie's bum bag," Mr Holmes said.
He believed the items may have been buried in the grave of their owner, a Roman centurion.
North Yorkshire Coroner Geoff Fell described them as "cracking items" and declared them treasure, which means they will be valued by Department for Culture Media and Sport experts, who will make a cash offer to Mr Harper.