All posts by MetalDetecting

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, Shire Archaeology

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams
Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, Shire Archaeology

I recently picked up a copy of Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, published by Shire Archaeology. This is one of the ‘new and improved’ Shire Archaeology series, sporting not only the modernized cover design, but a great many photographs accompany the text and the great thing about those photographs is that they are all in colour!

The book will be of limited value for identifying Anglo-Saxon coins (although there are many colour images of Anglo-Saxon coins and you may get lucky) – a guide to identifying Anglo-Saxon coins was not the authors intent, rather, this book is the story behind those coins and how they came to be here in the United Kingdom.

I hope all of the new look Shire Archaeology publications are produced to this standard, the production values and all the colour photographs are wonderful! When I get time I will write a full review of this book for the main website, in the mean time, I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Anglo-Saxons or Anglo-Saxon coinage, a must read for metal detectorists and coin collectors everywhere.

The cover image is a hoard of Anglo-Saxon silver pennies, buried around 730AD, found at Woodham Walter in Essex.

Buy on

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins (Shire Archaeology)

Buy on

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins (Shire Archaeology)

Rare Roman lantern found in field near Sudbury

“A metal detecting enthusiast has found what is believed to be the only intact Roman lantern made out of bronze ever discovered in Britain.

Danny Mills, 21, made the find in a field near Sudbury in Suffolk.

The area was dotted with plush Roman villas and country estates in the second century.

The object, described as a rare example of Roman craftsmanship, has been donated to Ipswich Museum where is it now on display.

In the autumn of 2009, Mr Mills, a metal detector user, found a large bronze object whilst metal detecting in a field near Sudbury.

He immediately reported the discovery to Suffolk Archaeological Unit.

‘Magnificent object’

A Colchester and Ipswich Museums (CIM) spokeswoman said: “It turned out to be the only complete example of a Roman lantern found in Britain.

“Only fragments of similar lanterns are held in the British Museum and the closest complete example is from the famous Roman site of Pompeii.”

It was found on land belonging to Mr and Mrs P Miller who donated it to Ipswich Museum, said the CIM spokeswoman.

Emma Hogarth, conservator at Colchester and Ipswich Museums, said: “It has been a pleasure to work on such a magnificent object.”

Mr Mills said: “It was an amazing feeling. It took a while to dig down to see anything and once we found it, we had to go really carefully around it to get it out of the ground.

Sheet of horn

“It took the best part of an hour. I looked it up on the internet on my phone and matched it up with some others from Pompeii.”

The lantern dates from between 43 and 300 AD.

It is like a modern hurricane lamp and the naked flame would have been protected by a thin sheet of horn which had been scraped and shaped until it was see through.

The horn is an organic material that did not survive as it will have rotted in to the soil.

The flame would have been produced by placing a wick into olive oil in a holder at the base of the lamp, not unlike a tea light holder.”

London Coins Auction – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September 2010

London Coins Auction – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September 2010

The latest London Coins Auction‘s sale is happening this coming weekend (Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September 2010).

The catalogue for the auction is up to London Coins Auction usual high standard, as are the the offerings within. The sale catalogue contains more than 2400 individual lots.

Some highlights from the sale catalogue (Auction 130):

Phillip and Mary Ireland shilling dated 1555. VF. Catalogue number 522. Estimate £750-£1500.

A stunning Solidi of Constantine the Great, Nicomedia mint. Good VF. Catalogue number 918). Estimate £3000-£5000). This coin is a new one on me, very unusual.

The most stunning Commonwealth Crown I have ever seen. Dated 1656. Graded choice EF.  Catalogue number 957. Estimate £2500-£5000.

And too many other fantastic items to list.

Bids by e-mail :, or snail mail to 4-6 Upper Street South, New Ash Green, Kent DA3 8JJ, phone 01474 871464 or fax 01474 872173.

Now if only I could win a few million on the lottery…

Dry weather reveals archaeological ‘cropmarks’ in fields

Dry weather reveals archaeological ‘cropmarks’ in fields

Hundreds of ancient sites have been discovered by aerial surveys, thanks to a dry start to the summer, English Heritage has said.

The surveys show marks made when crops growing over buried features develop at a different rate from those nearby.

The newly-discovered Roman and prehistoric settlements include a site near Bradford Abbas, Dorset.

The Roman camp was revealed in June after three sides became visible in rain-parched fields of barley.

The lightly-built defensive enclosure would have provided basic protection for Roman soldiers while on manoeuvres in the first century AD and is one of only four discovered in the south west of England, English Heritage said.

The dry conditions also allowed well-known sites to be photographed in greater detail.

[More at the BBC website.]

Metal Detecting UK

The Corbridge Lanx Treasure, Undiscovered Roman Treasure in the River Tyne?

The Corbridge Lanx Treasure

The Corbridge Lanx has fascinated me for many years. The Lanx is now safely housed in the British Museum, but what happened to the rest of the Corbridge Treasure?

Does an important hoard of fourth century roman silverware await discovery in the river Tyne at Corbridge? Click the link and decide for yourself!

Metal Detecting UK

Metal Detecting Clubs in the USA and Canada

Metal Detecting Clubs in the USA and Canada

By popular demand I have added lists of metal detecting clubs in the US and Canada:

Metal Detecting Clubs in the US

Metal Detecting Clubs in Canada

If you want your metal detecting club to be added to one of the above lists drop me and email at the usual address, or leave a comment here or on the forum and I’ll get in touch.

My next task is to compile lists of gold prospecting clubs, if you know of any or would like your club on the list, let me know!

Treasures Of The Anglo-Saxons

Treasures Of The Anglo-Saxons

There was a very interesting TV show on last night called ‘Treasures Of The Anglo-Saxons’. At last digital TV has a show that is actually worth repeating 50 million times. If you missed it don’t worry, it will probably be on at least a dozen more times this week.

A goth historian visits the greatest Anglo-Saxon treasures including the Staffordshire Hoard and the Sutton Hoo treasure and talks to various experts on the art and craftsmanship of the Anglo-Saxons. Some incredible Anglo-Saxon belt buckles, brooches and strap ends are shown in glorious detail.

So keep an eye on BBC4 for the repeats!

Metal Detecting UK

Half a Million Dollar Gold Bar Stolen From Mel Fisher Museum

Half a Million Dollar Gold Bar Stolen From Mel Fisher Museum

A 75 ounce gold bar, salvaged from the wreck of the spanish galleon Santa Margarita by treasure hunter Mel Fisher, has been stolen from the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. Police are searching for two suspects caught on the museum’s CCTV cameras.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of the gold bar, estimated to be worth $550,000.

The Santa Margarita was wrecked in a storm off the Florida coast in 1622, along with her far more famous sister ship the Atocha.

Video about the theft at CNN.

Metal Detecting UK