Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Article on Treasure Trove Recovery in England

An in-depth look at the Wickham Market find of 825 Iron Age gold coins by a metal detectorist: Iron Age Gold Unearthed in Suffolk Field By Chris Rudd, World Coin News March 18, 2009 In spring 2008 a hoard of 783 ancient British gold coins was discovered by a metal detectorist near the village of Wickham Market in southeast Suffolk, England. It is one of the largest hoards of Iron Age gold coins ever found in Britain and is one of the most important because it was unearthed virtually in situ, where it was buried 2,000 years ago in an earthenware pot. A small-scale excavation of the hoard site, jointly funded by the British Museum and Suffolk County Council, was conducted last Oct. 14-15. The two-day dig revealed that the hoard had been deposited within a ditched enclosure of late Iron Age date and produced 42 more gold coins, bringing the total to 825. Two intersecting ditches were partially excavated; the shards of wheel-thrown pottery found in them suggest one was open in the late Iron Age and the other was dug and filled in later during the Roman period. All but two of the 825 gold coins were minted in East Anglia by the Iceni, Queen Boudica's tribe. The two "foreigners" came from Lincolnshire. Five of the gold coins - the earliest in the hoard - were made about 40-30 B.C. They are known as Snettisham Type after a hoard excavated at Snettisham, Norfolk, in 1987-1989. The vast bulk of the Wickham Market hoard - 818 coins - are all Freckenham Type gold staters, named after the 90 or more found in a pot in a garden at Freckenham, Suffolk, in 1885. They were minted over a period of two or three decades, probably sometime around 20 B.C.-15 A.D., perhaps by two or three different rulers of the Iceni who may have governed concurrently. Rest of article.

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