Coins from the Late Iron Age and Republican Roman eras have been found buried together for the first time.
The discovery at Reynard's Kitchen Cave in Dovedale, Derbyshire,
was on National Trust land and the charity carried out a full
excavation after an initial find of four coins was made by a member
of the public.
"In total we found 26 coins, including three Roman coins which
pre-date the invasion of Britain in 43AD," said NT archaeologist
"Twenty other gold and silver coins are Late Iron Age and
attributed to the Corieltavi tribe. The tribe is more usually
associated with occupying areas further east during the Late Iron
Age, where the tribal centres are thought to be Leicester, Sleaford
and Lincoln, so it is interesting that this find is where it is in
Derbyshire. Could this area have been a previously unknown power
base of the Corieltavi tribe?"
This is thought to be the first time a hoard of this type has
been found in a cave. "The coins would suggest a serious amount of
wealth 'power' of the individual who owned them," said Ms Hall.
"Coins were used more as a symbol of power and status during the
Late Iron Age rather than for buying and selling staple foods and
supplies. Was an individual simply hiding his 'best stuff' for safe
keeping? Or, perhaps speculating, in the hope that the value would
increase in the future, like a modern-day ISA?
"The situation of the cave can't be ignored either. Could it
have been a sacred place to the Late Iron Age peoples that was
taboo to enter in everyday life, making it a safe place that would
ensure that person's valuables were protected?"
The coins, declared treasure and recently cleaned at the British
Museum and University College London, will go on permanent display
at Buxton Museum later this year.
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