May 9, 2019 11.38 am This story is over 30 months old

Metal detector enthusiasts discover Roman treasure

It was officially declared treasure

The largest haul of Roman coins from the early 4th Century AD ever found in Britain was discovered in Lincolnshire. It has now been declared as Roman treasure.

Two metal detector enthusiasts – Rob Jones and Craig Paul – made the discovery near the village of Rauceby in Lincolnshire in July 2017 after having searched the area for years.

On Thursday, May 9, 2019 the coins were officially declared a treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 at Lincoln Coroner’s Court.

Rob, a 59-year-old engineering teacher from Lincoln, and his friend Craig, 32, a planner from Woodhall Spa, made the discovery. The hoard included over three thousand copper alloy coins which are now being looked at by The British Museum.

The coins were found in a ceramic pot which was buried in the centre of a large oval pit. Photo: LCC

Rob said: “Our metal detectors started making signal noises, prompting us to dig down and have a look.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’ve found a few things before, but absolutely nothing on this scale. I was totally amazed. Finding the coins was the ultimate experience that we will never forget.

“It’s an incredibly humbling experience knowing that when you discover something like this, the last time someone touched it was nearly 2,000 year ago! I was completely flabbergasted!”

A full investigation of the site was the undertaken by Craig, archaeologist at Lincolnshire County Council Dr Adam Daubney and Sam Bromage from the University of Sheffield. During the excavation another hoard of 10 coins was found.

Dr Daubney said the coins were found in a ceramic pot which was buried in the centre of a large oval pit lined with quarried limestone.

The discovery was made in July 2017. Photo: LCC

He said: “What we found during the excavation suggests to me that the hoard was not put in the ground in secret, but rather was perhaps a ceremonial or votive offering.

“The Rauceby hoard is giving us further evidence for so-called ‘ritual’ hoarding in Roman Britain.”

Curator of Iron Age and Roman Coins Hoards at the British Museum, Dr Eleanor Grey, added: “At the time of the burial of the hoard around AD 307, the Roman Empire was increasingly decentralised and Britain was once again in the spotlight following the death of the emperor Constantius in York.

“Roman coins had begun to be minted in London for the first time. As the largest fully recorded find of this date from Britain, it has great importance for the study of this coinage and the archaeology of Lincolnshire.”

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