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UK: While digging in backyard man unearths hoard of 20,000 Roman coins.
BBC On-Line ^ | Thursday, 11 March, 2004 | staff writer

Posted on 03/11/2004 9:12:07 AM PST by yankeedame

Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 11:45 GMT

Roman treasure found in pond dig


The coins are thought to date from the 4th century

A man unearthed a priceless hoard of 20,000 Roman coins as he dug a new fishpond in his back garden. Experts say the money may date from the 4th Century and could be the biggest find of its kind in Britain.

The coins were crammed into a ceramic pot which broke up as it was dug out of the ground at Thornbury, Gloucestershire.

Now a coroner must decide if Ken Allen, who made the discovery, can keep the treasure.

Gail Boyle, from Bristol Museum, said: "This is the most amazing find of treasure to come out of this area for 30 years."

Mr Allen said: "It was a great surprise and at first I didn't realise what we had found.

"The pot was perfectly upright, I can't believe that this discovery was only 20ft from our house."


"I can't believe that this discovery was only 20ft from our house,"- Ken Allen

Kurt Adams, the Finds Liaison Officer for Gloucestershire and Avon, said: "The coins identified so far can be attributed to Constantine the Great.

"The mint marks - a letter or symbol used to indicate the mint which produced the coin - suggest Trier, Germany and Constantinople as possible places of origin."

Treasure trove

The coins are in the care of Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery where they are being cleaned in a special laboratory.

They will then be taken to the British Museum in London for further examination.

A spokeswoman for Bristol Coroner's Court said that even though the coins were found on Mr Allen's property they could still be ruled as being property of the state.

"What determines this is if the coins were buried there intentionally or lost.

"It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them, or never intended for them to be found.

"The coroner can rule whether they are the finder's treasure or not."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: ancientrome; archeology; artifacts; coins; england; epigraphyandlanguage; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; privateproperty; propertyofthestate; propertyrights; romancoins; romanempire; treasure; uk
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1 posted on 03/11/2004 9:12:07 AM PST by yankeedame
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To: yankeedame
There is alot of history in Britian. It took the Athens subway about 20 years to go 3 miles - every 10 feet they had to stop and investigate all the artificats that were found...
2 posted on 03/11/2004 9:14:19 AM PST by 2banana
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To: yankeedame
Amazing that these things are still being unearthed!

Roma Victa!
3 posted on 03/11/2004 9:16:50 AM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: yankeedame
The coins were deliberately buried when Roman governor Franklinus Delanus Rooseveltus ordered the confiscation of all coins of precious metal in order to replace them with notes from the Bancus Brittanorum.
4 posted on 03/11/2004 9:17:10 AM PST by Publius (Die Erde ist gewaltig schön, doch sicher ist sie nicht.)
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To: yankeedame
"Now a coroner must decide if Ken Allen, who made the discovery, can keep the treasure."

Fat chance, Ken.

5 posted on 03/11/2004 9:17:10 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: yankeedame
A spokeswoman for Bristol Coroner's Court said that even though the coins were found on Mr Allen's property they could still be ruled as being property of the state.

"What determines this is if the coins were buried there intentionally or lost.

The intentions of the 4th century owner would be impossible to determine, therefore they belong to the state.

Everything rightfully belongs to the state.

6 posted on 03/11/2004 9:17:27 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: yankeedame
"It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them..."

Put an advert in the lost and found column of the daily newspaper. If "he" doesn't come around to claim them, then he certainly has forgotten about them.

7 posted on 03/11/2004 9:17:46 AM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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To: blam
ping!
8 posted on 03/11/2004 9:18:25 AM PST by annyokie (There are two sides to every argument, but I'm too busy to listen to yours.)
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To: yankeedame
Since England would have been a part of the Roman Empire, to which "State" should the coins go? Back to Rome? Or to the British Museum?
9 posted on 03/11/2004 9:19:56 AM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: yankeedame
They should let him keep it. What crap!!
11 posted on 03/11/2004 9:20:40 AM PST by international american
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To: yankeedame
Read later.
12 posted on 03/11/2004 9:21:14 AM PST by EagleMamaMT
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To: yankeedame
quick...buy stock in British metal detectors. The craze will be re-ignited.
13 posted on 03/11/2004 9:21:47 AM PST by Mark Felton (Antiestablishedpartymentarianist)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: 2banana
There is alot of history in Britian. It took the Athens subway about 20 years to go 3 miles - every 10 feet they had to stop and investigate all the artificats that were found...

This is every treasure hunter's dream! Incidentally, it took Boston 14 years and 15 billion dollars to go 2 miles underground - but that has nothing to do with artifacts.

15 posted on 03/11/2004 9:24:57 AM PST by Puddleglum
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To: weegee
***""It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them..."***


It's more likely that someone hid them before getting whacked.

They belong to the finder. They aren't English coins. The Roman empire no longer exists. The answer can't be more obvious to me.
16 posted on 03/11/2004 9:25:19 AM PST by SolutionsOnly
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To: 2banana
"they could still be ruled as being property of the state."

They will.

"It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them, or never intended for them to be found."

Or never intended them to be found and died before they recovered them?

"The coroner can rule whether they are the finder's treasure or not."

Shucks, I can just see a "public" servant ruling in favor of the "public". He should have told nobody and sold them one at a time. The very fact that they were buried in the ground means that the depositer "never intended for them to be found".

"What determines this is if the coins were buried there intentionally or lost".

When coins get "lost" they usually find a pot and plant themselves in the ground.

Interesting. If I ever find anthing of value, the last thing that I will do is tell my government. The would claim first "dibs" and all I would be left with is the broken pottery.

Blessings, Bobo
17 posted on 03/11/2004 9:26:10 AM PST by bobo1
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: cannothave2masters
A coroner? What is the basis of his legal authority and mandate? We're not talking about cause of death here.
19 posted on 03/11/2004 9:26:20 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: yankeedame
"It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them, or never intended for them to be found.

You can't make this stuff and satire is over.

20 posted on 03/11/2004 9:26:52 AM PST by don-o
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To: cannothave2masters
Sadly, if it is an antiquity, the local, county, state or even federal government could make a claim on it. Much of the ownership of privately-owned land in the United States does not include mineral rights, which includes rights to things dug out of the land.
21 posted on 03/11/2004 9:29:26 AM PST by AzSteven
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To: yankeedame
All your coins are belong to us......
22 posted on 03/11/2004 9:30:23 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: AzSteven
Especially if it's of Native American origin. Even if you HAVE mineral rights they will take whatever it is from you and possibly prosecute you for tampering with it. I know.... it happenned to a friend of mine.
23 posted on 03/11/2004 9:32:13 AM PST by StolarStorm
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: E. Pluribus Unum
Tyranny continues to thrive in GB.

Doesn't everyone bury their coins to never be found or used? /sarcasm off

I have to wonder if he felt stupid as he heard himself say, "It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them, or never intended for them to be found."

Prolly not.

25 posted on 03/11/2004 9:33:00 AM PST by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber!)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: 2banana
What Ken should have done was find 20,000; er, 5,000 coins. And kept his cut before the Gov't comes and 'gets theirs'.
27 posted on 03/11/2004 9:34:26 AM PST by Swanks
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To: yankeedame
I wonder how much a slightly used coroner goes for these days?
28 posted on 03/11/2004 9:34:32 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: billorites
Exactly, the poor bugger is sure to get screwed royal.
29 posted on 03/11/2004 9:35:02 AM PST by BadAndy (A Vote For Kerry is a Vote Against the War on Terrorism.)
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To: cannothave2masters
Check your deed; does it say fee simple?
30 posted on 03/11/2004 9:35:58 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: yankeedame
"It is possible somebody put them there and forgot about them"

Wait a minute! Did the article say Gloucestershire, specifically Thornbury? And are they sure the pot was ceramic? 20,000 coins?

Well how about that! Here I thought I buried them in Tewkesbury. I've been looking all over for them.

Mystery solved. They're mine.

31 posted on 03/11/2004 9:36:38 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: yankeedame
A man unearthed a priceless hoard of 20,000 Roman coins...

While it is possible these coins are the rare ones, I know I have seen coins like this in the local coin shop and they are probably far from "priceless". I bought several of them for very cheap. (not 20,000, however)
They are mostly copper or some other soft metal stamped with the image of the "leader of the moment" for whatever part of the empire they were created in.
I guess there were so many created for circulation, they don't bring much value to collectors.

32 posted on 03/11/2004 9:37:35 AM PST by scan58
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To: Swanks
That's what I'd have done. Or just keep my mouth shut.
33 posted on 03/11/2004 9:38:47 AM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: bobo1
He should have told nobody and sold them one at a time.

It would have taken him a long time for a little gain. I bought a handful of Trier Mint coins with Constantine on them (From the Beachy Head Hoarde) for only a few Pounds at a coin shop in Southampton.

At Low Tide, there are coin shooters all over with their metal detectors. Britain was crawling with Romans, for a long, long time. Well, I guess, in a way, it WAS Roman.

34 posted on 03/11/2004 9:38:49 AM PST by Gorzaloon (Contents may have settled during shipping, but this tagline contains the stated product weight.)
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To: yankeedame
Amazing. Sales of metal detectors should be increasing now.
35 posted on 03/11/2004 9:38:52 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: cannothave2masters
You are very correct. I stand corrected.

Blessings, Bobo
36 posted on 03/11/2004 9:39:59 AM PST by bobo1
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To: Publius
One of my distant relatives actually found a small iron pot full of pre-Civil War gold coins back about 1935. He was plowing his field and heard the plow strike something metal. He decided to investigate and see what it was. It turned out to be a small cast-iron pot filled with pre-Civil War gold coins. The Feds confiscated the gold, though, as this was after America went off the gold standard. He never did know how the Feds found out he had it. They showed up at his house about a week after he found it.
37 posted on 03/11/2004 9:40:22 AM PST by EagleMamaMT
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To: yankeedame
"They will then be taken to the British Museum in London for further examination."

Like hell they will.

If, I found them on my property, and I dug them up, they are my property.

Now, for a few billion pounds they could go to London.

38 posted on 03/11/2004 9:41:13 AM PST by auggy (http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-DownhomeKY /// Check out My USA Photo album & Fat Files)
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To: weegee
to which "State" should the coins go? Back to Rome?

Rome vacated the city on the Tiber and moved to Constantinople long ago, but then moved again. Rome might well be considered as being in London, or possibly moved to America now.

39 posted on 03/11/2004 9:41:32 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: SolutionsOnly
Cultural artifacts including shipwrecks are sometimes considered part of the national treasure.
40 posted on 03/11/2004 9:41:34 AM PST by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: ffusco
but I've also heard of many cases where treasure finders have legal claim to thier findings. I'm sure if that weren't the case, not too much treasure would ever be found.
41 posted on 03/11/2004 9:43:28 AM PST by SolutionsOnly
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To: yankeedame
"They will then be taken to the British Museum in London for further examination."

Like hell they will.

If, I found them on my property, and I dug them up, they are my property.

Now, for a few billion pounds they could go to London.

42 posted on 03/11/2004 9:43:55 AM PST by auggy (http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-DownhomeKY /// Check out My USA Photo album & Fat Files)
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To: yankeedame
Looks like a pile of dirt and gravel to me. Hey! I think I may have dug up tons of ancient Roman coinage over the years and simply discarded them because my untrained eye thought they were a bunch of rocks. Damn!
43 posted on 03/11/2004 9:44:41 AM PST by rogers21774 (The guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.)
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To: AzSteven
When I wanted to build a house on undeveloped pristine riverside land a few years ago, before I was allowed to have a bulldozer in to dig the foundation, I had to have the site fully inspected by the Coastal Resources Management counsil, the Army Corp of Engineers, the Nature Conservacy, the Indian Artifact Society - just about everybody but the mastodon society. What a pain in the @ss
44 posted on 03/11/2004 9:44:47 AM PST by aShepard
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To: Gorzaloon
"It would have taken him a long time for a little gain"

Might be the case, but I would rather wait a long time than to give it away to those that would steal it outright.

It is the principle of the thing with me. The money issue is secondary.

Blessings, Bobo
45 posted on 03/11/2004 9:45:25 AM PST by bobo1
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To: yankeedame
Now a coroner must decide if Ken Allen, who made the discovery, can keep the treasure.

Paging Dr. Quincy, please call Dr. Asten.

46 posted on 03/11/2004 9:48:19 AM PST by Yo-Yo
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To: bobo1
Might be the case, but I would rather wait a long time than to give it away to those that would steal it outright.

You are right. Were I to find artifacts, etc. while digging in my backyard, even if they were valueless, I would not make public announcments to The Authorities about them. Why, they had been in the family for GENERATIONS! Even before we brought them over with us on the Mayflower!

47 posted on 03/11/2004 9:50:48 AM PST by Gorzaloon (Contents may have settled during shipping, but this tagline contains the stated product weight.)
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To: SavageRepublican
Roman Coin ping
48 posted on 03/11/2004 9:52:36 AM PST by rface (Ashland, Missouri -)
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To: scan58
While it is possible these coins are the rare ones, I know I have seen coins like this in the local coin shop and they are probably far from "priceless". I bought several of them for very cheap. (not 20,000, however)

We have some old Roman coins my brother bought from a coin dealer on the Internet.
They were not very expensive, I think he got 30 assorted coins for around $64.00.
What is cool about them is that even though they are not precious metal they actually are a part of history that you can own.
A few of the coins we have are from the time of Constantine. They have his inscription on one side and Romulus and Remus nursing from a wolf on the other.
One of the reasons that Roman coins are found buried like they were in this article is that Roman soldiers sometimes pooled there money together before a battle and buried it. Whoever was left alive after the battle could split the money.
Many times no one lived through the battle so the money stayed hid.

49 posted on 03/11/2004 9:58:21 AM PST by Stewart_B ( Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son. (Dean Wormer))
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To: BadAndy
Don't be so sure. Britain enacted a Treasure Law in 1996. They have to go through some formalities (this inquest), and the national museums get first refusal to buy them at market value, but the guy will end up with the treasure. Metal detecting and treasure hunting is a big hobby in Britain, and amazing finds are showing up regularly. They've realized that if they don't insure people will get to keep the treasure legally, they'll just stop reporting their finds.
50 posted on 03/11/2004 10:02:02 AM PST by Heyworth
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