One of the biggest collections of Iron Age metalwork ever found in the region has been uncovered by archaeologists at a Leicestershire landmark.
The ancient metal artefacts were found at an Iron Age hill fort at Burrough on the Hill, near Melton, by University of Leicester archaeologists.
The finds include spears, knives, iron brooches, reaping hooks and the decorative bronze trim from a shield.
Project director Dr Jeremy Taylor said: "It's a sizeable collection and it's giving us some useful insights. We have excavated a series of houses and storage pits and found about 100 pieces.
"Many of the finds date from between the fourth and first centuries BC."
Dr Taylor believes iron was not smelted on the site but he said there was evidence that blacksmiths at Burrough might have shaped it into the final objects.
The University of Leicester's Archaeological Services (ULAS) department was given permission by English Heritage to carry out excavations over a five-year period, for the first time in more than 40 years. No major excavation had taken place there since the 1970s.
Teams of up to 90 students and staff from the department have been carrying out summer digs there since 2010.
John Thomas, project co-director, said: "It is a substantial amount of metalwork recovered from excavations during the past three years.
"Last year, we discovered a series of big pits following a geo-physical survey of the area. "We think they were used as storage pits for grain.
"We also discovered a huge amount of metalwork last year which was almost complete and still useable. It's giving us quite an insight into the status of the people who lived at Burrough Hill."
Dr Taylor said he hoped the finds would be exhibited permanently in Melton.
"We have been working closely with Melton Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council to create a permanent exhibition," he said.
A county council spokesman said: "These finds at Burrough Hill by the University of Leicester are of significant importance, offering an insight into Iron Age life.''
The team will be working at the site again in the summer and there is a chance for amateur archaeologists to join them, for a fee.
From June 24 to 28 and July 1 to 5, people will be able to join the dig team and be trained in excavation, finds, surveying and planning at a cost of £200 a head per week.
An open day at the dig site will also be held on Sunday, June 30, from 11am to 4pm.
For more information or to book a place on one of the training weeks, e-mail: