Thursday, June 28, 2012

Huge Iron Age Coin Hoard Found in Jersey

Coins Weekly discusses a huge coin hoard found on the Island of Jersey.   Metal detectorists found the hoard, but archaeologists excavated it making for a good example of the collaboration that is still possible between the groups where laws are not of a confiscatory nature.


Paul Barford said...

But the coins here:
at 44 seconds are not Celtic, are they? What could they mean?

Cultural Property Observer said...

They are Roman Republican issues. It suggests again that Roman coins circulated outside Roman lands, i.e., you can't assume as the US State Department erroneously does that a coin will be found where it is struck.

Paul Barford said...

Well, the Coriosolite coins which are found there in large quantities these days were most likely not struck on Jersey either, does that mean that according to US law, one can freely import them from there without a export licence then?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Since you have not had the courtesy to post my comment to your latest blog on Egypt (but you have had time to post another critical blog about this post), and this being the second time in a row you have not done so, I'm not sure you deserve a response or anymore comments on my blog. Your comments in any event seem designed to score points in your own mind, and nothing else.

If you post both my past comments (to the blog about Egypt and the one about Dr. Parks and FOIA), I might reconsider. Otherwise, don't bother trying posting comments, they will be deleted.

Cultural Property Observer said...

John Hooker asked me to post this and I am happy to do so:

I'm sure that most have already heard about the largest Celtic coin hoard which was found in Jersey, CI. Although the coins have not been separated yet, there appears to be about 30,00 -50,000 of them.

The hoard is a "founders hoard" (and smugglers hoard!) buried at least as late as the first two decades of the 1st cent AD. Most of the coins appear to be Coriosolite, but there are at least two Roman Republican denarii and a stater of Series Xn (formerly attributed to the Abrincatui). The latest coin in the hoard so far revealed to the media is a Roman Republican denarius of Vibius C.f. Cn. Pansa Caetronianus minted in 48 BC -- a couple of years after Caesar left Gaul. It has about 50 years of wear on it, which places the burial of the hoard most likely in the first decade of the 1st century AD. You can see the two Republican coins on this video at about 11 seconds -- the Pansa denarius showing the head of Pan.

At this time, people were sailing up and down the coasts of Brittany and Normandy buying or trading(?) old Gallic war currency. Many such collections were buried on Jersey as Roman ships could not land on the island very easily. The final destination seems to have been the metal recycling works at Hengistbury.

It appears to have been an illicit trade -- in Britain, Caesar seems to have included some trading deals in the terms of surrender for the British troops, for not only does the trade start shifting to the north of the Thames from Hengistbury on the south coast, but the Durotriges economy went into a tail spin resulting in a collapse of their monetary economy. The Coriosolite port at Alet was destroyed by the Romans in 10-15 AD. It seems likely that shipments then left Jersey for Hengistbury instead of sailing directly from Alet.

There is evidence of some metalworking at the hoard site -- which is no surprise as the last large Jersey hoard (Le Catillon, 1957) contained a large number of coins which had been test cut in order to judge the silver content of them. Le Catillon also contained Series Xn coins.

The most pressing questions about the current hoard are whether there are more die examples of Groups A and B which are rather rare, and also whether there will be more examples of the enigmatic Series Xn. One die engraver in this series also engraved some Coriosolite dies and perhaps some dies of the Veneti coinage.

As is usual, the press seems to have a lot of inaccurate information about this hoard. Hopefully, all of this will be corrected once the hoard is (I hope!) properly catalogued.



Cultural Property Observer said...

I posted this to Barford's latest where he takes me to task for not answering him quick enough above:

As for your post, yes under US law these particular coins can be imported without an export license; however, ACCG and I support securing export licenses where required. The real problem of course that coins bought in countries like the UK often don't require export licenses, and US authorities wrongfully assume coins were found where they were produced so this causes a huge problem.

As for Mr. Elkins snide comments, perhaps he will enlighten us why he thinks US import restrictions on coins are based on a "primarily found" standard and why such a standard complies with the CPIA's legal requirement that they were first discovered in and are subject to the export control of a given country before they may be restricted. The restrictions themselves only refer to coins of a given type or otherwise suggest they are based on where they were minted.

We'll see if he will give me the courtesy of posting it. He did finally post my comment on Egypt, but not my comment regard to FOIA.