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 Post subject: The British Museum and the Frome Hoard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:50 am 
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I did my last week as a Volunteer at The British Museum last week, so that was a straight 6 months association. My last week, for the moment, but hopefully not my last stint ever. Latterly I was checking the catalogue of silver Roman coins of the middle to late 4th Century, which has proved very useful to me. These coins are called “siliquae” and are the sort of coins found in the Rossall Hoard, so you can see why I was particularly interested in that type and period of coins.
No doubt you will have heard the news about the Roman Coin Hoard found near Frome, Somerset and being at the BM, where the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is based, I’ve heard bits of “chat” about it, but today is the first time I’ve heard about it in total…I can now piece together the bits of “chat” I’ve overheard and put them in context. I can’t repeat most of it because it’s personal (but not derogatory) and much of it humorous. The coins are “Radiates”, which for the uninitiated means (on a purely visual level) the emperor’s heads, on the coins, have a “radiate” crown…they are very distinctive and some of this type have been found Over Wyre, particularly in The Hackensall Hoard.
These coins found near Frome are (I understand) from the period of the Emperor Carausius, originally appointed commander of the Classis Britannica (The British Fleet). However, Carausius decided to set himself up as Emperor of Britain and Northern Gaul with some success. He was eventually murdered by Allectus, his right hand man…and soon after Britain was again drawn into the main empire’s administration. And this period, beginning with Carausius, at the end of the 3rd Century is the beginning of the period I’m particularly interested in, particularly the silver coinage which were beginning to be minted at this time (in London and a couple of other places in Britain).
52,000 coins is a huge amount and most of the “experts” at the BM have been drawn in to do their fair share of the initial assessment…I understand that Roger Bland (Head of the PAS) and his people have had to put together the details of this hoard for the coroner’s inquest that is to be held on the find. But, that’s just an initial assessment, no doubt, some academic or group of academics will make this hoard their life’s work and with this number of coins and perhaps make their name on the hoard. I’ll just mention Sam Moorhead, the PAS National Finds Adviser for Roman coins. He’s been heavily involved in this find. He’s a typical academic in one respect, very knowledgeable, expert by any definition of the word, but good to work with, not a stuffed shirt and always has a good humorous story to tell; a raconteur of the first order. A prolific writer (watch out for his publications), always ready to give a talk on his subjects and no stranger to TV and Radio (4 only I suspect). After one “chat” about this hoard…he said (I won’t describe the context) he said “a bit like Terry being in London” and I thought, “yes, amongst barbarians”. So, now back to my tomatoes…lots of flowers, but not so many fruits…nor are there many Bumblebees this year…is there a connection?


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 Post subject: Re: The British Museum and the Frome Hoard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Have a look at this link too:-

http://finds.org.uk/blogs/fromehoard/


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 Post subject: Re: The British Museum and the Frome Hoard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:22 pm
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Location: Fleetwood
Terry,

I believe (although I haven't actually seen it and therefore can't verify any proof of its existence as such) that a similar period Rebel Gaul Alliance coin was unearthed at Stanah a few years ago. Again I can't verify it, but the coin was apparently described as being in such good condition that it suggested there was a mint somewhere close by.

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Brian Hughes: Curator of the Fylde and Wyre Antiquarian.
http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: The British Museum and the Frome Hoard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Just the sort of coin finds we need recording in the PAS database, Brian. Dot Boughton, the FLO for the area is trying to organise a PAS Finds Day in Fleetwood. Altough, it all seems to have gone quiet, I am reliably informed by Steve Bird that it will probably be at Fleetwood Library...all finds welcome...all find spots kept confidential.


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 Post subject: Re: The British Museum and the Frome Hoard
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:48 am 
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Steve mentioned the Finds Day to me a couple of weeks ago and I reckon it sounds like a really good idea. I've got a few small finds that could do with identifying myself.

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http://www.wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com


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