Teacher Suspended After Unearthing Ancient Ring, Students Step In


At First, It Seemed Like His Lucky Day

When the History school teacher Miles Burke came up with an ancient treasure buried in his yard, he probably felt like he had just won the lottery.

Not only was he incredibly thrilled by the finding; he thought that it would also alleviate his financial situation and give him a name in academic and scholarly circles. But he wasn’t expecting all the troubles that would be brought to his life by the discovery.

The Story of Miles Burke

Daily Mail

Miles Burke was aged 29 by the time this story took place. He worked at a school in Cornwall, UK, teaching History.

History had always been his true passion. His favorite field of History was the classical era, specifically the Romans. Right after completing his Bachelor’s, his dream was getting into a Ph.D. and pursuing a career in research. But things hadn’t worked out so well for him.

He Started A Family


During his time as a student, Miles had married one of his classmates, whom he had been dating for years. The two of them shared a passion for History and were just perfect for each other.

That’s why the decision to get married and possibly have a child came naturally to them right after completing their Bachelor’s.

A Quantious Inheritance


However, some might wonder if Miles expected to be able to balance the raising of a kid and the pursuit of an academic career. Both are known to be remarkably stressful and demanding paths.

Miles thought he had no reason to worry about the future in that way. During his last year as an undergrad, a wealthy distant relative had died and left a large inheritance for Miles. He expected to be able to self-fund his Ph.D. and write his thesis at his own pace while taking care of his family. But something unexpected had happened.

A Secret Son

Wall Street Journal

A few months after the death of Mile’s relative, a mysterious character came into the picture. It was a man who claimed to be the secret son of the deceased relative; if that were true, he would have the right to claim a big part of the inheritance, which would conflict with Miles’ plans.

The resolution of the true identity of that man would be crucial for the feasibility of Miles’ plans.

Who Was That Man, Really?


The process of verifying that man’s identity and legally settling the distribution of the inheritance took a lot of time and money. The money, of course, was extracted from the bulk of the inheritance.

After the long process was over, Miles was left with chump change. It was not enough to live on his own means and support his family for 3 or 4 years while he got his PhD. He had to renounce his dream for now and focus on finding a job.

Miles Had To Choose A Plan B


Finally, he found his job as a History teacher at a school in Cornwall. At least he could work teaching what he loved and make enough money to support his family.

But he had to give up on his academic dreams, at least temporarily. Until something happened that gave him new hope.

His Wife Tried To Cheer Him Up

Focused Collection

To cheer him up, his wife got him a metal detector for Christmas. A great interest of his during his undergrad years had been numismatics or the study of ancient coins, and he had hoped to do some research on that subject.

Perhaps looking around for and finding ancient coins would help Miles not forget his true passion, and even help him to put a foot in the door for an academic career. But this new hobby would bring an even more unexpected change to Miles’ life.

A Sudden Discovery?

Metal Detecting Tips

Only a few weeks had passed since Miles received the present from his wife, and he was wandering around their garden with the metal detector. He still hadn’t found anything of value, but he didn’t give up.

Suddenly, the metal detector started beeping. Excited, after Miles recognized where the metal detector was trying to lead him, he started digging. Maybe this time he would find something interesting, or just a bunch of scrap?

What Was It?


It took him a while and he had to dig quite deep, but eventually, he got there. And when he found what the metal detector had been beeping for, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

It was a beautiful gold ring with some sort of green stone embedded in it. After examining it for a while, Miles had an intuition and ran to his library. There, his gut feeling was confirmed: it was a Roman ring from the 1st or 2nd century AD. It had an inestimable value.

Was It Authentic?


Quickly, Miles went to the local university to present his discovery to the scholars. Over there, a group of archeologists and historians kept the ring in order to examine it and determine its authenticity.

Miles felt on top of the world. He would be able to co-author a paper about the ring, which would make his entry into academic research easier. He would also be able to sell it to a museum or a collector for a good sum of money. But something was about to happen that would threaten Miles’ hopes.

An Envious Fellow?


The discovery had been published in the local papers and one of the Miles’ fellow teachers had read about it. And for some reason, he had told the authorities at the school that it was a fugazi or, in other words, a fake; he accused Miles of being a shameless scammer who had never got over his failed dream of getting into academic research. Miles was then suspended from his position at the school until the matter was cleared.

The motives for this accusation are unknown and will most likely remain personal and private to the parts of the conflict. However, the intervention of a group of students was decisive in this question.

Local Students Step In

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At the local university, the professors of the archeology and Roman history departments had shared the discovery with their students and had encouraged them to analyze the ring as coursework. It was widely accepted by everyone at the university, from students to professors, that the ring was real.

The students were particularly excited about the finding since it represented a challenge to the established theories about Roman presence in Cornwall. This is why they found the suspension of Miles unfair and organized a demonstration in front of his school to protest against it.

They Organized A Protest


The students were particularly excited about the finding since it represented a challenge to the established theories about Roman presence in Cornwall.

This is why they found the suspension of Miles unfair and organized a demonstration in front of his school to protest against it.

A Happy Ending


Finally, the authorities at Mile’s school came to their senses and allowed Miles to get back to teaching. As of today, Miles is still teaching History at that same school.

He also received a good sum of money for the ring and he’s currently co-authoring a paper about it with two professors from the local university, one from the archeology department and the other from the Roman history one. It is expected that he will be offered a position as a Ph.D. student for the course starting in September this year.