Another week, another incredibly rare discovery! The UK has been home to some of the most exciting excavations over the decades, from a huge gold nugget being found in a Scottish river, to the remains of a king found underneath a car park in Leicester.
This week though, after three years of secrecy, it was the turn of amateur detectorists to reveal a priceless discovery in Yorkshire – a horde of Roman silver dating back 2,000 years.
Metal detectorists are often the first ones to see these ancient relics for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and this discovery was no different. Three friends, Paul Kind, Robin Siddle and Robert Hamer were the ones to unearth the collection, which contained shards of pottery, jewellery and coins, believed to be from an important, high-status settlement.
The friends reported their wonderful find to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which works to record the ancient relics discovered by amateur detectorists and members of the public. The main draw of this discovery is its age. Many settlements dating from the 3rd or 4th centuries have been discovered, but this one is believed to date back to AD 69-79 during the reign of emperor Vespasian.
Why Keep It Secret?
Unfortunately, the exact location of the settlement site has been kept a secret until now because of the potential of looting by night hawkers (illegal metal detectorists). The site itself has not just monetary value in terms of the find, but also has value as a heritage site, offering unequivocal historical insight.
The secrecy also gave archaeologists the opportunity to scour the area and make any pertinent discoveries insofar as historical significance is concerned. It is said that they have barely begun to scratch the surface of this potentially huge settlement.
The Value of the Coins
This kind of find is often hard to value as the coins themselves differ in quality and importance. However, the historical value of these first century coins is priceless.
The horde is just the tip of the iceberg as well, as detectorists and archaeologists continue to search the area to see what else lies beneath the earth. It is believed that they are starting towards a more high-status area of the settlement, as the pottery being found would have been used by those at the highest levels of society.
Does this make you want to invest in a metal detector and go out treasure hunting? If not, you can invest in your very own horde of treasure with gold and silver coins available here at Gold Investments.