A PREHISTORIC tool and a coin dating back one thousand years were among the finds unearthed by Dorset treasure hunters.

Dozens of people packed out Poole Museum's archaeological finds day, launched as part of the national Museum and Galleries Month.

Visitors brought in relics to be examined by Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen, one of Dorset County Council's portable antiquities team.

The silver coin, from the reign of Ethelred II, King of England from 978 to 1013, then 1014 to 1016, was found on Bournemouth beach.

The prehistoric flint scraper was discovered by an amateur archaeologist at Hengistbury Head.

Mrs Hayward Trevarthen said: "I had 54 people come in with a range of finds, from the prehistoric tool to pottery fragments.

"We get a wide range of people coming in, from those who have found items in their back gardens by chance, to those who scour local beaches."

The finds day was just one in a series of events planned to mark museum month.

Today, the fifth floor of Poole Museum will be transformed into a mini cinema for the Museum at Night event, and throughout this month young people are being encouraged to try their hand at archaeological illustration.

Museum service and operations manager David Watkins said: "We are delighted to be holding these events and hope it will encourage more people to come and enjoy the museum's new galleries, displays and facilities."

  • Another archaeological finds day, in which the public can have finds assessed, will be hosted at Wareham Library on May 24 (9am-12pm).