Harlton Cousins…

Well I t has been a while since I last posted and for those of you who drop in to check on what I have been up to I apologise for my lack of regular blog entries. As ever, I have a number of valid excuses which I will touch on very shortly, suffice it to say I have been both busy and lucky. Take a look at these:

4th Century Hoard?

So…now you forgive me for being a little late in my postings eh? Well, Following initial field walking performed by the Cambridge Archaeological Field Group (CAFG),I undertook further surveys of an area reported to contain a scatter of Romano-British pottery. Using field walking techniques and metal detecting, 23 Roman coins have been discovered. These may signify a dispersed hoard.

Hoards are typically placed in pottery containers and buried under ground. If these hoards are not recovered, ploughing can disturb the contents and eventually spread the interred coins across a field. This may have been the case for this find area in Harlton.

Of the twenty-three coins discovered, two are silver, the remaining are copper-alloy. According to the 1996 Treasure Act “All coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found” are regarded as Treasure Trove. Therefore the group has been reported to the Cambridgeshire Finds Liaison Officer.  The local Coroner will determine whether the find is indeed Treasure. If the finds are deemed to be treasure, the British Museum will then determine whether they or any other Museum wishes to acquire the coins from the Crown. The value of the coins will be determined by the Treasure Valuation Committee, and both the landowner and the finder are eligible to receive a share of the reward.

Siliqua Constantius II

Two Roman silver coins have been found. The larger of the two is known as a Siliqua. The smaller of the two is either: another Siliqua, which has been heavily clipped in antiquity, or more likely, represents a half-Siliqua. The Emperor depicted on the Siliqua is Flavius Julius Constantius (August 7, 317 – November 3, 361), commonly known as Constantius II, Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. The youngest son of Emperor Constantine, Constantius had a long and successful reign. He was a Christian Emperor following his fathers’ (Constantine The Great) promotion of the faith.

Half Siliqua - Constantius II

Of the remaining 21 Copper Alloy coins, at least five, again, depict Emperor Constantius II. These coins are of a type known as AE3 – typically 1.7 to 2.3 cm in diameter. Another copper-alloy AE3 coin appears to be from the reign of Caius Pius Esuvius Tetricus, Emperor of the Gallic Empire (Imperium Galliarum) from 270/271 to 273. If confirmed this might have an impact on the decision of the coroner as this shows the collection of the coins was spread over 90 years. The remaining coins are a mixture of AE3 and AE2 and in poor condition and difficult to attribute other than being 4thC.

Tetricus I - The last of The Gallic Emperors, who separated Gaul and Britain from the direct rule of Rome. Ultimately defeated in battle and paraded as a Tyrant his life was spared and he became a civil servant in southern Italy.( Note the Radiate Crown)

As well as the 23 coins discovered a large scatter of 3rd-4th Romano-British pottery was found. The rim shards shown in the top right of the picture are from standard cooking vessels and serving platters. One small fragment of Gaulish (2d Century?) Samian ware was recovered. Other copper-alloy finds include a 3rd century Roman Finger ring, and a fragment of possible bracelet (L-R under the coins). In the top left of the photograph a lead steel yard weight is shown, another typical find from rural Roman sites. Large amounts of lead waste were also recovered, though hard to date, these are again typical for the period (bottom left of photo). To the bottom right under the pottery…an intriguing fragment of a coin or medal…. diameter3.5cm….more to follow on this on I am sure…..

Coins - Pot Sherds - Rings and things

I can’t wait to hear what the BM say about the coins…though I have heard it takes about a year to get a decision out of the Coroner….so I won’t be seeing the coins again in a hurry. ….I will keep you posted I promise 🙂







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