Category Archives: Metal Detecting Hoard Finds

The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain

The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain

The list of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain – the original manuscripts, written in Welsh, date from the 15th and 16th centuries, but they almost certainly draw on paper sources and oral traditions that are far, far older.

The list of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain is long over due an update, let’s bring the list of the Thirteen Treasures of Britain into the 21st century!

I’m not talking strictly about metal detecting finds here, but also coins, artefacts, hoards, brooches, weapons etc. that may have been excavated by archaeologists, found purely by chance by people digging drainage ditches or ploughing fields, uncovered by barrow diggers or by workman renovating old buildings.

Here are a few suggestions to get things started:

The items on the above list may not possess the supernatural abilities and properties of the original Thirteen Treasures, but they are certainly all magical in their own way.

Have your say, what are Great Britain’s Thirteen Greatest Treasures? leave a comment here, over on the forum or email me! If we can get together a good, interesting list, I’ll set up a poll so that everybody and anybody can vote for their favourites.

Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard – metal detecting find fund-raising

Metal detecting find fund-raising – The Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard

Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard, 840 Iron Age gold staters of the Iceni tribe, found by metal detectorists in 2008.
Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard, 840 Iron Age gold staters of the Iceni tribe, found by metal detectorists in 2008. Photograph courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service have apparently begun a fund raising effort to secure the Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard of 840 Iron Age gold staters found by two metal detectorists in 2008. The Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard is one of the largest hoards of iron age gold staters ever discovered. The 840 gold staters date from around 40 BC–15 AD.

This metal detecting find received a fair bit of coverage in the news after a very public falling out between the two finders, Michael Darke (or Dark, depending on source) and Keith Lewis.

The BBC reports that Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service hope to display this fantastic metal detecting find at Ipswich Museum, but I have not been able to find any details or information about the fund-raising effort on their various web sites as yet, so if you want to support the campaign to keep this find in Essex, you could try getting in touch with Ipswich Museum directly:

Ipswich Museum
High Street
Ipswich IP1 3QH

Tel: 01473 433550
Fax: 01473 433558 [Wow, people still use faxes? wtf?]

I’ll update if an online fund-raising campaign is launched.

‘Treasure house’ of the North Thames tribes discovered – largest find of Iron Age gold in UK history

‘Treasure house’ of the North Thames tribes discovered – largest find of Iron Age gold in UK history

Metal detectorists in Hertfordshire discover the ‘Treasure house’ of the North Thames tribes – the single largest find of Iron Age gold in history. Found just outside St. Albans, the hoard of 52,504 gold staters and over 200 neck torcs is set to re-write the history books.

A group of archaeologists called in to excavate the find videoed the recovery of what has been called ‘the most stunning metal detecting find in history’ and are releasing the tapes on YouTube:

'Treasure house' of the North Thames tribes discovered

Expect to see plenty about this incredible discovery on the news all day today!

Metal Detecting UK

Rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius being offered by Dix, Noonan and Webb

Rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius being offered by Dix, Noonan and Webb

Dix, Noonan and Webb are offering a very rare Carausius ‘Clasped Hands’ Denarius in their December 9th coin auction:

Carausius, Argenteus, London, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, rev. clasped hands, 4.19g/6h (cf. RIC 549; cf. Shiel 14-20). Very fine and very rare £600-800

There was a near perfect example of this coin found amongst the 52,503 coins of the Frome Hoard, found by Dave Crisp. See The Frome Hoard Book, by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland, page 28 for more information about this very unusual coin and an interesting theory about the meaning of the letters ‘RSR’ beneath the clasped hands from Guy de la Bedoyere. Although, John Y. Akerman writing in Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, 1836, says “It is difficult to assign an exact meaning to the letters RSR; but if conjecture be allowed, it seems highly probable that this coin was struck at Rutupia (Richborough in Kent).”

Wish I had the money for this one!

Metal Detecting UK

Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim Treasure

Probably the finest known example of the Roman silversmith’s art:

Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim Treasure. Photograph by Andreas Praefcke from Wikipedia
Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim Treasure. Photograph by Andreas Praefcke from Wikipedia

Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim treasure, discovered on October 17, 1868 on Galgenberg Hill in Hildesheim, Germany. Dating from the first century AD, this cup may have been owned and used by the commander of the lost Varus legions.

Frome Hoard Fundraising – The 1st of February 2011 deadline draws closer

Somerset Museum in Taunton has until February 1, 2011 to raise the £320,250 purchase price of the Frome Hoard. On top of the purchase price, money also needs to be raised to cover the ongoing costs of conserving the 52,503 third century Roman coins, discovered by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. You can donate to the Frome Hoard campaign fund online via the Art Fund web site. Not only has the Art Fund already donated £40,250 to the Frome Hoard campaign fund, but they will match, pound for pound, donations by members of the public up to a total value of £10,000.

Another way of supporting the campaign to keep the Frome Hoard in Somerset is to buy the Frome Hoard book: The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk, a snip at £4.49 delivered. 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the campaign fund and the cost of conserving the coins. Worth every penny of the cover price for the stunning photographs of the coins of Carausius alone!

Book on the Frome Hoard to be Released on October 11

The British Museum is releasing a book on the Frome Hoard!

Found in April 2010 by metal detectorist Dave Crisp, the Frome Hoard consisted of a very large roman pot filled to the brim with 52,503 Roman coins. The coins in the pot weighed around 160 kilograms (that’s 352.7lbs in old money), one of the largest coin hoards ever discovered! The coins are mostly third century radiates, some of them in a remarkable state of preservation. The book, titled simply ‘The Frome Hoard’, will be released on the 11th October 2010.

Denarius from the Frome HoardAbove: A Denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard. Photo courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Flickr photostream.

Another interesting point to note is that the British Museum still needs around £30,000 for conservation work on the coins, and 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the cost of conserving the coins and the acquisition campaign apparently being run by Somerset County Heritage Service so that the hoard can stay in Somerset and be displayed in Taunton Museum.

I’ll provide some more information on the book and probably a review when I receive my copy.

The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews of Metal Detecting Related Books

Over the coming weeks I am going to start reviewing metal detecting and metal detecting related books. I’m not going to stick to newly released titles, I’m planning to write up some very old treasure hunting classics and other books that have been around a few years. The first books I’ll be reviewing are listed here:

  • The Vale of York Hoard by Gareth Williams and Barry Ager
  • Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams
  • Treasure Hoards of East Anglia by Mark Mitchels
  • Romano-British Coin Hoards by Richard Abdy
  • Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting by Julian Evan-Hart and David Stuckey
  • The New Gold Panning is Easy by Roy Lagal
  • Various “golden oldies” by Ted Fletcher and others

I’m looking for reader suggestions for the new book reviews section. Which books do you want to see reviewed? Got strong opinions about a particular book? Whose books do you really like or whose books do you really hate? Leave some comments and let me know!

When the reviews are added to the main site, you can find the Metal Detecting Book Reviews here.