IT HAD lain undiscovered for around 3,000 years.

But now a ring dating back to the Bronze Age has been uncovered by a Winchester metal detector enthusiast.

Alan Cracknell was on the verge of giving up his search for the day when he came across the rare find.

In his 30 years doing the weekend hobby, Mr Cracknell had found items like buttons and buckles from the Georgian period to the medieval period, but nothing like this.

Mr Cracknell, 74, of Brassey Road, said: “You may find that ring one minute and then a Coke can the next.

“It was almost as if it was wanting me to find it.”

The gold-plated ring, thought to have been used as decorative jewellery or as currency, was found in farmland in Headbourne Worthy back in 2010, but has now been ruled treasure by a Winchester coroner.

When the retired artist first came across the object hidden in the earth, after it showed up on the detector, he thought it was a bottle top.