Author Topic: Detectorists help out scientists  (Read 768 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Detectorists help out scientists
« on: August 24, 2015, 12:32:12 PM »
Dark Ages coin unearthed on Herefordshire farmland is a find of 'regional importance'
Ian Morris / 22 August 2015

A TINY coin forged in the Dark Ages and recently unearthed on farmland in Herefordshire has been described as a find of regional importance.

An eighth century ‘sceat’, dating back more than 50 years before King Offa built his famous dyke, has been identified by the British Museum as one of few Anglo Saxon artefacts to come to light in the area.

The find was made by 39-year-old Kington greenkeeper, Alun Crichton who, with fellow metal detectorist Ian Cole, aged 54, has also discovered a hoard of Roman coins dating back to the emperor, Mark Anthony.

Both men and the landowner have waived their right to reward, and the find is now on display at Kington Museum and causing waves of interest.

Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer for the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme said: “It may be small and broken, but the sceat is a find of regional importance being one of only a few discovered in the Marches – on the western edge of Saxon influence.”

The piercing suggests that the coin could have been worn as a necklace to show the reverse side, a military standard.

“Such pierced sceattas are extremely rare on a national scale,” said Mr Reavill. “Given that Kington is famous for its links with Offa’s Dyke, there are very few artefacts from this period from the area or the county.”

Mr Reavill, who is based at Ludlow Museum, said the coin, dating back to AD 700 – 710, was probably minted in Kent.

“They are extremely uncommon coins in Wales and the Marches and only five other examples of this coin type are known in Herefordshire.

The Roman coin hoard is also seen as an important find, dating back to a period when the Welsh border was a hub of Roman activity. He explained that larger forts in the Radnor Valley acted as the ‘Camp Bastion’ of their day in protecting Roman interests.

The hoard found and recently acquired by Kington Museum through the Treasure Act is an interesting example of local coin use, said Mr Reavill.

Kington Museum curator Robert Pritchard thanked Mr Crichton and Mr Cole for the coin collection, and went on to praise Mr Reavill. “Kington Museum is indebted to him for all his help and advice.”

Mr Crichton and Mr Cole believe metal detectorists play a vital role in finding out more about the past, and pinpointing areas of early settlements.

“We are filling in the blanks,” said Mr Crichton. “Only five have been found in Herefordshire.”

Both experienced metal detectorists, the two men are members of Hereford Metal Detectorists’ Club and Hereford Searchers. They are keenly aware of the right conditions to make their quests.

“We are always busier in winter because of the atmospherics, the temperature, the moisture in the soil,” said Mr Cole. “You’re always after the big one, like fishing!”
These latest finds can be seen at Kington Museum which is open Tuesday to Friday from 10.30am – 4pm and 10.30am – 1pm on Saturdays.

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Source: Hereford Times
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Detectorists help out scientists
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 12:48:20 PM »
A TINY coin forged in the Dark Ages......

It may have been better to say struck or minted rather that forged as the latter gives the wrong impression. But that's a reporter for you.  ::)
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.