A hoard of more than 280 gold and silver coins from the time of the Roman invasion of Britain has been unearthed by two metal detectorists.
Sean Scargill, of Harlaxton, and his brother-in-law Hugh Jenkins were in a field in Riseholme, near Lincoln, when they discovered 282 coins from the Iron Age.
Sean said he was aware of what the coins were because he had found one before. He said find was ‘historic’ because they were the earliest known coins to be used in Britain.
Sean added: “I have been detectoring for four and a half year. I have been searching this site for that time. I have found Roman, Saxon and Viking artefacts before. But not much is known about the Iron Age tribes except from the coins they used. This is a significant find.”
Sean, whose finds also include a bronze thumb from a life-size Roman statue now housed in the British Museum, says the coins are waiting to be valued. They are with the British Museum, but Lincoln’s museum will have first option to buy them with 50 per cent of that value going to the landowner and 50 per cent to Sean and Hugh.
The coins were found earlier this year with fragments of a pot and include rare examples stamped with the names of local rulers living in the area in the years leading up to the Roman invasion of Britain in AD43.
Dr Adam Daubney, finds liaison officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Many of the coins in the hoard are stamped with names of people that we believe were local rulers. These are some of the earliest personal names ever recorded from the region.”
The discovery site is owned by the University of Lincoln, whose archaeologists have carried out a survey of the area to help answer questions about why the coins were buried. Professor Carenza Lewis, from the university, said: “It’s a find of national significance because it dates to the period of the Roman Conquest which transformed our country’s history.”