BM staff breakfast 3 July 2013

This week’s staff breakfast saw Roger Bland, Keeper of Prehistory and Europe, and Portable Antiquities and Treasures introduce a new project which aims to develop our understanding of hoards were buried in Britain in the Roman period. The three-year project is funded by the AHRC and is in partnership with the University of Leicester.

The Frome Hoard, found in 2010 near From in Somerset was used as a case study. The Frome Hoard consists of 52,503 Roman coins found within a ceramic pot, including many coins from the reign of Carausius who ruled Britain 286 to 293. Interestingly, due to the weight of 52,503 coins, it is thought that the pot was put in the ground empty, and that the coins were added over a period of time.

The two main reasons for hoards were then explained: firstly hoards which are buried for security with a view to unearthing them at a later date. Many such hoards from Britain and Europe correspond with the barbarian raids of the 260s. Secondly there are hoards buried as a votive offering.

One of the aims of the project is to compile a database of all Roman hoards alongside a sample set of 3rd century hoards from continental Europe.

You can find out more about the project here:

You can read discovery, excavation and conservation of the Frome Hoard here: