London - If you dug these up in your garden, you probably wouldn’t think twice about throwing them away.

But the unassuming objects are 4,000-year-old Bronze Age beads, and worth their weight in gold.

Unearthed from a prehistoric burial chest on Dartmoor, they have been heralded as one of the most significant historical finds in more than a century.

The chest’s well-preserved contents included human bones, teeth, textiles and intricate jewellery.

Bronze Age expert Dr Ben Roberts, from Durham University, said the find was a “seven or eight out of ten” on a scale where the ruins of Pompeii get a ten.

Jane Marchand, senior archaeologist from Dartmoor National Park, described the haul as one of the most important discoveries since the 19th century.

She said: “This is an incredible find. We had no idea we could end up with something as astounding as human remains.

“The amber beads probably came from the Baltic – and meant they were long-distance trading 4,000 years ago.

“These artefacts show Dartmoor wasn’t the isolated, hard-to-reach place we thought it was. This mystery is unfolding. To be a part of it has been truly amazing.”

The chest, which will be featured on BBC South West’s regional TV programme Inside Out, also contained a decorated leather band and a woven basket. - Daily Mail