Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Huge Hoard of Roman Coins Just Discovered in Britain

The Detroit News: UK treasure hunter finds 52,000 Roman coins 

Talk about a treasure hunter's and coin collector's dream find of a lifetime.
A treasure hunter has found about 52,500 Roman coins, one of the largest such discoveries ever in Britain, officials said Thursday.

The hoard, which was valued at 3.3 million pounds ($5 million), includes hundreds of coins bearing the image of Marcus Aurelius Carausius, who seized power in Britain and northern France in the late third century and proclaimed himself emperor.

Dave Crisp, a treasure hunter using a metal detector, located the coins in April in a field in southwestern England, according to the Somerset County Council and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

The coins were buried in a large jar about a foot (30 centimeters) deep and weighed about 160 kilograms (350 pounds) in all.
Apparently among the coins in the hoard there are
more than 760 coins from the reign of Carausius, the Roman naval officer who seized power in 286 and ruled until he was assassinated in 293.
The coins of Carausius are pretty rare so this is an important find and who knows, perhpas some new coin types (coins that have not been cataloged as exisitng, for example previously unknown inscripotions or images on the reverse of the coin) will be found.

Congrats to Mr. Crisp on this impressive numismatic and historical find.

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