Iron Age chariot is found by amateur history lover who's now set to pocket ...

Iron Age chariot discovered by an amateur metal detectorist is found alongside the remains of a tribal elder and his weapons and the history fanatic is now set to pocket £1MILLION Permbrokeshire's Mike Smith found the buried treasure using a metal detector He's now legally obliged to sell the artefacts to a museum after private valuation  Stunned experts believe the extraordinary find dates back to between AD 25-75

By Peter Lloyd for MailOnline

Published: 11:36 GMT, 1 February 2019 | Updated: 12:23 GMT, 1 February 2019



A history lover is set to pocket up to £1million after discovering a buried iron Age chariot.  

Mike Smith, 45, from Pembrokeshire, was stunned to become the first metal detectorist to pick up a Celtic chariot dating back more than 2,000 years.

High-ranking chiefs in the Iron Age would be laid to rest with their chariot, horses, tack and weapons.

Now, Mr Smith is set to bring in a cash windfall after the ancient find was declared treasure by a coroner.

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Buried treasure: The chariot boasts red and green enamel pieces, which show how intricately designed the vehicle was - primarily, because it would've been for an Iron Age VIP 

Buried treasure: The chariot boasts red and green enamel pieces, which show how intricately designed the vehicle was - primarily, because it would've been for an Iron Age VIP 

'It’s guess work but you’re definitely talking six or seven figures,' said Mr Smith.

'It’s the biggest ever metal detecting find, as in there’s never been a chariot ever discovered by a metal detectorist.

'There have been hoards found, but never anything like this.'

Mr Smith first found what he thought was a medieval broach but turned out to be part of a Celtic horse harness.

He went straight back the following day and found more red enamel pieces - dating to between AD 25 to 75.

'I knew the importance of them straight away,' he added.

'It was just instinct. I’d read all about chariot burials and just wished it could have been me, so finding this has been a privilege.'


The Iron Age in Britain started around 800BC and finished in 43AD when the Bronze Age began.

As suggested by the name, this period saw large scale changes thanks to the introduction of iron working technology.

During this period the population of Britain probably exceeded one million. 

This was made possible by new forms of farming, such as the introduction of new varieties of barley and wheat.

The invention of the iron-tipped plough made cultivating crops in heavy clay soils possible for the first time.

Some of the major advances during included the introduction of the potter's wheel, the lathe (used for woodworking) and rotary quern for grinding grain.

There are nearly 3,000 Iron Age hill forts in the UK. Some were used as permanent settlements, others were used as sites for gatherings, trade and religious activities.

At the time most people were living in small farmsteads with extended families.

The standard house was a roundhouse, made of timber or stone with a thatch or turf roof.

Burial practices were varied but it seems most people were disposed of by 'excarnation' - meaning they were left deliberately exposed.

There are also some bog bodies preserved from this period, which show evidence of violent deaths in the form of ritual and sacrificial killing.

Towards the end of this period there was increasing Roman influence from the

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