Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "coins"

A member of the public looking in a Derbyshire cave has led experts to the first ever discovery of Late Iron Age and Republic Roman Coins buried together in Britain, described by archaeologists as akin to a modern savings account held in a sacred space known only by well-off tribespeople.

A powerful member of the Corieltavi – who ruled the East Midlands during the 1st century, demonstrating prolific coin-making capabilities – is thought to have left his money within Reynard’s Kitchen Cave, where four initial coins grew to an impressive hoard during a full excavation by the National Trust.

“In total we found 26 coins, including three Roman coins which pre-date the invasion of Britain in AD 43,” says Rachael Hall, of the Trust, who believes their location adds to the mystery. Read more.

Following comprehensive investigations carried out by the Tourism and Antiquities Police, members of a gang specialising in illegal excavation work and the looting of antiquities have been caught red-handed.

The gang leader was arrested in his home in Giza’s Abu Sir village, where a collection of 17 authentic Islamic coins, 12 Ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines and a replica statue were found hidden inside an oven.

According to the police report, this collection emerged from illegal excavations carried out by the gang members and a number of villagers in a remote archaeological area in Abu Sir. (source)

WACO, Texas — Millions of ancient looted coins from archaeological excavations enter the black market yearly, and a Baylor University researcher who has seen plundered sites likens the thefts to stealing “smoking guns” from crime scenes. But those who collect and study coins have been far too reluctant to condemn the unregulated trade, he says.

“Archaeologists are detectives. When something has been taken away from a historical site, the object is divorced from its relationship with other objects, and its utility for the writing of history — much like solving a criminal case — is diminished,” said Nathan Elkins, Ph.D., assistant art professor in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Elkins is the staff numismatist at the excavations of an ancient synagogue from the Roman/Byzantine period in Huqoq, Israel. He has written an article, “Investigating the Crime Scene: Looting and Ancient Coins,” that appears in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Read more.

An archaeological group is hoping to buy a collection of gold and silver coins unearthed by a builder 11 years ago.

Richard Mason found a pottery jug while renovating a house on the island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland, in 2003.

But it was not until 2011 he realised the jug contained 17 rare coins.

An inquest has declared the hoard to be treasure and Newcastle’s Society of Antiquaries wants to raise an estimated £31,000 to keep it in the region.

The 10 gold and seven silver coins span the reign of six English sovereigns and several European states with one - a gold scudo of Pope Clement VII, who refused to annul the marriage of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon in the 1520s - thought to be worth about £30,000 alone. Read more.

A Roman mint would have produced copper alloy coins on the site of a former villa in Leicester, according to archaeologists investigating pits full of pottery and moulds of valuable metal at the city’s Blackfriars productivity hive.

Enamelled brooches and medieval features at the site have been predated by waste and storage ditches and roundhouses at the settlement, based on the east bank of the River Soar.

Chris Wardle, a planning department archaeologist who has been part of a team responsible for a lengthy examination of the complex industrial terrain, said there was “something special” about the area during the 1st century BC. Read more.

ISLAMABAD: Customs officials at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport made one of their biggest hauls of ancient coins and artifacts when they caught a China-bound passenger trying to smuggle out more than 2,000 rare items, including 16 well-preserved gold coins.

“We were surprised at the audacity of the man,” said a customs officer recalling the May 21 catch.

According to the officer, a smuggler would have on him 20 to about 100 such items to avoid detection.

Deputy Collector Customs Ghulam Ali Malik confirmed that Mehar Nabi from Peshawar was trying to catch an early morning flight (PK1-855) to Kashgar, China, on May 21, when baggage examination led to the recovery of the coins and other objects which apparently seemed antiques. Read more.

Two years after a pair of metal detectorists found the world’s largest collection of buried Celtic coins, the Le Catillon II hoard is about to go on public display in a tale of life in northern France and the Channel Islands, covering the Roman occupation of Gaul and featuring a Roman chariot burial from Normandy.

Reg Mead and Richard Miles spent 30 years searching for the coins before triumphing in 2012. More than 70,000 pieces are thought to be clumped in the solid mound of metal and earth, weighing three quarters of a ton and left as it was when it was gingerly lifted from the soil. Read more.

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I’s government came up with a series of measures to deter “divers evil persons” from damaging the reputation of English coinage and, with it, the good name of the nation.

The Royal Mint announced last month that in 2017 it will introduce a new £1 coin, said to be the “most secure coin in the world”. The reason behind the decision, which could cost businesses as much as £20 million, is the surge in counterfeiting. It is estimated that around 3% of £1 coins are fakes with an estimated 45 million forgeries in circulation.

Four and a half centuries ago, Elizabeth I made the reform of currency one of her government’s top priorities. Invested as queen in 1558, she inherited a coinage which was fraught with problems. Read more.