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  1. #1
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    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Somerset - Huge Roman coin find for hobbyist

    Huge Roman coin find for hobbyist


    One of the largest ever finds of Roman coins in Britain has been made by a man using a metal detector.

    The hoard of more than 52,000 coins dating from the third century AD was found buried in a field near Frome in Somerset.

    The coins were found in a huge jar just over a foot (0.3m) below the surface by Dave Crisp, from Devizes in Wiltshire.

    "I have made many finds over the years, but this is my first major coin hoard," he said.

    After his metal detector gave a "funny signal", Mr Crisp says he dug down 14 inches before he found what had caused it.

    "I put my hand in, pulled out a bit of clay and there was a little Radial, a little bronze Roman coin. Very, very small, about the size of my fingernail."

    Mr Crisp reported the find to the authorities, allowing archaeologists to excavate the site.

    Offering to gods Since the discovery in late April, experts from the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the British Museum have been working through the find.

    The coins were all contained in a single clay pot. Although it only measured 18" (0.45m) across, the coins were packed inside and would have weighed an estimated 160kg.

    "I don't believe myself that this is a hoard of coins intended for recovery," says Sam Moorhead from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

    "I think what you could see is a community of people who are actually making offerings and they are each pouring in their own contribution to a communal ritual votive offering to the gods."

    It is estimated the coins were worth about four years' pay for a legionary soldier.

    "Because Mr Crisp resisted the temptation to dig up the coins, it has allowed archaeologists from Somerset County Council to carefully excavate the pot and its contents," said Anna Booth, local finds liaison officer.

    Somerset County Council Heritage Service now hope the coroner will declare the find as treasure. That would allow the Museum of Somerset to acquire the coins at market value with the reward shared by Mr Crisp and the land owner.

    A selection of coins from the hoard is on display in Gallery 68 at the British Museum until mid-August.

    The story of the excavation will be told in a new BBC Two archaeology series, Digging for Britain, presented by Dr Alice Roberts, to be broadcast in August.



  2. #2
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    Ratchaburi's Avatar
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    I better go & did around the backyard to see if there is any treasure.
    Most likely only find dog s-it any way.

  3. #3
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    Of course most likely some slimy corporation will surface claiming they hold the rights to the find, or some equally sleezy insurance company will claim it's theirs because of a claim paid 100's of years ago.

  4. #4
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    Good that he didn't contaminate the site. If more hobbyists did this, then they wouldn't have such a bad name in the archeological community.

  5. #5
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    How much is it worth in today's dinarii, then?

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