Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gigantic Hoard Reported Under Treasure Act

Dorothy King's PhDiva blog has drawn my attention to this report about a tremendous 52,000 coin hoard that has been reported under the UK's Treasure Act. See

The finder helpfully did not disturb the large pot that protected most of the coins from the elements so that archaeologists could perform additional studies about the hoard's composition.

Presumably, the authorities will retain the most interesting coins for future display after payment of a reward based on market value. The others will then be returned to the finder after recordation, and then sold to collectors.

The news again underscores the benefits of the British and Welsh approach to handling common artifacts like coins. This system ensures hoards are recorded, and also that the State only keeps what it can reasonably be expected to care for.

As for me, I look forward to the opportunity to purchase one of the coins from the hoard for my own collection. The fact that I will know this coin's provenance will be plus that is its own testament to the wisdom of the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Addendum: The PAS Blog mentioned in the comments section below indicates that the there are plans for the entire hoard to be acquired by the State and put on display in the new Museum of Somerset. See If so, it will be a loss for collectors but seeing the pot and its contents together will certainly be gain for Somerset museum goers. The blog also has an interesting preliminary breakdown of the hoard's contents. It again suggests that ancient coins did "travel" and that it is wrong to assume a coin was found where it was made.

1 comment:

Alfredo De La Fe said...

One point which I found particularly interesting is that a survey of the area found "virtually nothing" else.

A fantastic "blog" on the hoard packed with photos and detail: