Researchers have determined that the Chi-Rho Amulet, found in Shepton Mallet in 1990, is a fake. When it was first discovered in a Roman grave eighteen years ago, it was thought to be the earliest Christian artifact ever found in Britain. Local residents were so excited by the discovery that they named an entertainment center and a street after it. But tests indicate that the silver in the amulet is of nineteenth-century origin.
Suspicion is focusing on protesters who were opposed to local development. Peter Leach of Birmingham University is quoted as saying: "A local group might have had an agenda to place an object there in the hope that an archaeological find would stop the development.” Link: Times Online
Britain, of course, has quite a history of producing fake medieval artifacts. Back in the nineteenth century two hoaxers, William Smith and Charles Eaton, churned out thousands of fake "medieval" metal objects. Once exposed, the faux artifacts came to be known as "Billies and Charlies." Now they're collector's items in their own right.