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Pictures: Gold Treasure, Roman Coins Revealed in U.K.
National Geographic ^ | Published April 4, 2011 | Rachel Kaufman

Posted on 04/06/2011 11:27:58 AM PDT by Red Badger

Fifty thousand Roman coins found in a field in Somerset, England, in 2010 (including the artifacts above) amount to the largest hoard of coins discovered in a single vessel—and the second largest hoard of ancient coins ever found in Britain, according to British Museum experts.

The coins, along with recently discovered Iron Age gold jewelry—both found by amateur treasure hunters—will be acquired by museums, thanks to a series of grants and donations, officials recently announced. The coins will go to England's Museum of Somerset, which will put them on display after it reopens this summer.

The haul, most of which has been cleaned and restored, contains nearly 800 coins minted by Carausius, a Roman general who declared himself emperor of Britain in A.D. 286 and ruled for seven years before being assassinated by his treasurer.

During those seven years, Carausius spread his rule in part through propaganda—for example, by issuing high-quality silver coins bearing his likeness, such as the one pictured above.

The find also contained coins showing Rome's mythical founders, Romulus and Remus, suckling a wolf—a scene never before found on Carausius coins. Carausius may have used the image to link himself with the historical Roman Empire.

"He was a great propagandist," British Museum archaeologist Sam Moorhead told National Geographic News. "He basically introduced that coin as soon as he came to the throne."

Rare silver coins bearing Carausius's portrait, including these three, stand out among the 52,000 newfound Roman coins, most of which are bronze.

The ersatz emperor's coins are the youngest in the enormous hoard, suggesting the assemblage dates no earlier than A.D. 293, since Carausius was assassinated that year.

The find also changes how archaeologists see such hoards. It's generally been assumed buried coins were hidden only temporarily, by owners concerned about the threat of invasion by Irish or Saxon raiders.

But this hoard—weighing 352 pounds (160 kilograms) and found in one ceramic pot—could never have been carried to the burial place in one piece, archaeologists say.

Instead, the hoard was likely a ritual offering—a pre-Roman British tradition that may have extended into Roman times. Coin burials from the era are more common in Britain than in any other Roman territory, according to Moorhead and colleagues.

The hoard was discovered by metal detector enthusiast Dave Crisp, who was searching farmland with permission of the owner. Under U.K. law, the value of any treasure found on private land is split between the landowner and finder.

Another recent series of grants has allowed Edinburgh's National Museum of Scotland to acquire pre-Roman gold neck ornaments—shown on March 21 with Scottish Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and museum director Gordon Rintoul—for study and display starting this summer.

The so-called torques date from between the third and first century B.C. Amateur metal detector user David Booth discovered the treasure on his first time out—and just seven steps from his car, according to the museum's website.

Booth was searching in Stirling, in central Scotland, when he made the discovery. The exact location has been kept secret to discourage a gold rush.

Two of the four Iron Age torques are made from twisted gold ribbons, a typical Celtic style for the time.

A third (next to Rintoul's right hand) likely came from southern France, based on the distinctive tubelike design. The fourth—an intricate design made of fine wires twisted together (bottom right)—was made by "someone trained in the Greek or Roman world," according to the National Museum.

This ornate Mediterranean torque, along with the three other torques, was found in near perfect condition, buried in what was a wooden building, perhaps a shrine.

The distance the torques must have traveled before reaching their final burial place showed that wealthy Britons of the time would have had the resources to trade with far-off places.

The torque find—valued at £462,000 (U.S. $741,000)—is "the most important hoard of Iron Age gold ever found in this country," Hyslop said in a statement.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: carausius; coin; davecrisp; davidbooth; epigraphyandlanguage; frome; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; hoard; roman; romanempire; scotland; scotlandyet; somerset; stirling


1 posted on 04/06/2011 11:28:05 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping!.....................


2 posted on 04/06/2011 11:29:14 AM PDT by Red Badger (I've posted a total of 1,714 threads and 64,019 replies as of 04-04-2011)
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To: Red Badger

Very interesting, and pretty. Thanks.


3 posted on 04/06/2011 11:40:14 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Red Badger
Thanks for posting this!

Roman emerpor Trajan88 gives this thread a thumb's up :-)

4 posted on 04/06/2011 11:44:21 AM PDT by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: Red Badger
Amazing!!!
5 posted on 04/06/2011 11:47:52 AM PDT by Taylor42
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To: Red Badger

Note to self ... make sure coins representing my coming reign as evil overlord distinctively show that I have a chin.


6 posted on 04/06/2011 11:50:01 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Red Badger

“Amateur metal detector user David Booth discovered the treasure on his first time out—and just seven steps from his car, according to the museum’s website. “

Wonder if his wife/girlfriend though that the metal detector was a ‘stupid toy’ ?


7 posted on 04/06/2011 11:55:33 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: UCANSEE2

I found three dollars fifty-seven cents with mine.........


8 posted on 04/06/2011 12:00:21 PM PDT by Red Badger (I've posted a total of 1,714 threads and 64,019 replies as of 04-04-2011)
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To: Red Badger
I need one of these.

Christmas List: R/C Car Metal Detector


9 posted on 04/06/2011 12:01:09 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: FateAmenableToChange
Note to self ... make sure coins representing my coming reign as evil overlord distinctively show that I have a chin.

No, no, no! Concentrating on trivia like that is how evil overlords get over thrown. Use this list instead:

The Evil Overlord Top 100 List

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.
2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies...

10 posted on 04/06/2011 12:08:49 PM PDT by Pilsner
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To: Red Badger

Gold hit $1460 today and silver is on its way to $40 an ounce.


11 posted on 04/06/2011 1:23:33 PM PDT by Chuckster (When I was a kid, this was a free country)
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To: Red Badger; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

· GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach ·
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Thanks Red Badger.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

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12 posted on 04/07/2011 8:18:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: Red Badger; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

· GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach ·
· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
 Antiquity Journal
 & archive
 Archaeologica
 Archaeology
 Archaeology Channel
 BAR
 Bronze Age Forum
 Discover
 Dogpile
 Eurekalert
 Google
 LiveScience
 Mirabilis.ca
 Nat Geographic
 PhysOrg
 Science Daily
 Science News
 Texas AM
 Yahoo
 Excerpt, or Link only?
 


Thanks Red Badger.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

· History topic · history keyword · archaeology keyword · paleontology keyword ·
· Science topic · science keyword · Books/Literature topic · pages keyword ·


13 posted on 04/07/2011 8:18:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: FateAmenableToChange

LOL


14 posted on 04/08/2011 9:13:41 AM PDT by investigateworld (Remember: Pillage and Loot, then burn)
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To: Red Badger; SunkenCiv

Badger, you are coming up with some jewels. Keep it up.

I’d say this might have been the ill-gotten hoard of the treasurer that assassinated Carausias.


15 posted on 04/08/2011 12:36:08 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: wildbill

It’s a good bet that it was.
The story would make a good movie.............


16 posted on 04/08/2011 12:41:28 PM PDT by Red Badger (I've posted a total of 1,723 threads and 64,113 replies. as of 04-06-2011)
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To: Red Badger; wildbill

You know, at this time in Roman history there wasn’t a heck of a lot of future in being hailed Emperor.


17 posted on 04/08/2011 2:01:19 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Red Badger

Wow, the gold torques are nice.


18 posted on 04/08/2011 7:27:51 PM PDT by csvset
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