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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Enormous Roman Coin Hoard Discovered

A hoard of Roman coins worth hundreds of pounds was unearthed in a farmer’s field in Sheffield - and this week was declared treasure.

The hoard of Roman coins discovered in Plumbley,
near Mosborough, Sheffield. [Credit: Sheffield Telegraph]
The five republican silver denarii were discovered by a metal detector enthusiast on land at Plumbley Hall Farm, near Mosborough.

The find was reported to the authorities before the coins were seized by the British Museum - and on Tuesday assistant deputy coroner David Urpeth ruled they were the property of the Crown.

Mr Urpeth told Sheffield Coroner’s Court that the finder of the coins - Edward Bailey - would receive a cash reward, along with the landowner, Raymond Woolley.

They were unearthed between May 28 and June 3 last year.

Archaeology expert Amy Downes, who examined the find, said the oldest coin dated from 211BC to 120BC.

She said the money was probably hidden or lost from a purse sometime after 74AD.

“It’s quite unusual to find a group of such early silver Roman coins,” she said.

“It’s great that it’s been reported, there have not been many finds in the area recently. The hoard was probably personal rather than anything deliberately buried.”

Ms Downes said Roman republican coins were ‘known for their longevity’, and went out of circulation in the reign of Hadrian, 117AD to 138AD.

A soldier or unskilled worker living in the first century AD could expect to earn one denarius for a day’s work.

Mr Urpeth said the coins belonged to the Crown under the Treasure Act 1996, and a value for the hoard will be set by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Roman republican coins are known for their longevity, and it seems that most were lost in Britain during the second half of the 1st century AD.


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