An untouched Bronze Age burial site is due to be excavated thanks to a “lucky” discovery by a pair of metal detector enthusiasts.
Matthew Hepworth and David Kierzek unearthed several rare artefacts in a field in Lancashire, including a chisel and a dagger.
This led to an ancient barrow being located at the site which had lain undiscovered for thousands of years. Experts don’t want to reveal the exact location to keep the site secure.
Mr Hepworth, 40, said: “This site is untouched which makes it very, very rare.
“It wouldn’t have been discovered if we hadn’t found those artefacts.
“I’ve been on the site five times before over 20 years, but metal items do move in the ground.
“It was just a lucky find on the day. The first thing I found was a chisel, which is quite rare, there’s only a handful in Britain. Then we found a dagger and other pieces in bronze.”
He added: “People can learn a lot from this site, it’s part of our heritage. It’s knowledge for the future generations as well.”
Mr Hepworth, who works as a community nurse, previously discovered a stash of Viking silver in the area, which can now be seen at Lancaster City Museum.
He said finding the burial monument, which was used for around 1,500 years from the late Neolithic period to the middle or late Bronze Age, is “as good as it gets”.
He and Mr Kierzek, 51, will be taking part in the dig in July, which will take place with the help of £49,500 funding from Heritage Lottery Fund.
DigVentures is inviting members of the public to join the excavation through a crowdfunding campaign.
Brendon Wilkins, archaeologist and projects director at DigVentures, said barrows are the “best windows we have into the lives and deaths of Bronze Age Britons”.