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This website is brought to you by a team of very passionate historians and metal detectorists. We are not part of the grab it and run brigade.
History is extremely important to us and recording finds and working alongside archaeologists is of utmost importance.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Crimewatch appeal over stolen jug worth £75,000

The BBC's Crimewatch programme is to feature the theft of a rare medieval jug from a Luton museum.

The Wenlok jug, which is worth about £75,000, was stolen from the Stockwood Discovery Centre during a break-in on Saturday 12 May.

Full Story

'Lost Kingdom' found in Scotland

Pottery from Africa found in a burnt-out fortress in Galloway hints at a 'lost' Dark Ages kingdom that may even have been born of an alliance between Britons and Picts.

Remarkably, a Pictish carved stone at the fort's entrance shows two entwined symbols which could have been evidence of an alliance between Britons and Picts, possibly through a ‘royal’ marriage.

A shard of sixth century pottery from Africa also found at the site shows it could only have been home to someone of ‘the very highest status’, like a King.

The Picts were a savage tribe who lived north of the Firth of Forth - very few Pictish stones have ever been found outside their traditional territory.

Full Story

Episcopal Coins Of Durham - Anthony Bek 1284-1311

I am often asked what the difference is between a Durham Penny and an Episcopal Durham Penny. In the article below I'll try and explain.


In years gone by Bishops were very powerful people, and some where allowed to mint money in their own right. So as well as official Durham coins minted by the king, other coins were also minted by the bishops. These are referred to as Episcopal coins. It has been suggested that the Bishops of Durham coined money as early as after the days of the conquest, but they lost their privilege when Henry II deprived the bishop of his dies c1183 only for it to be restored by Richard I in 1196. These earlier Episcopal coins will be looked at, at a later date.

The first easliy identifiable pennies minted by a Durham Bishop, were in the reign of Edward I, when in the eleventh year of his reign, Anthony Bek was appointed to the See of Durham - See, meaning the place in which a cathedral stands. Identified as the seat of authority of a Bishop.

We are told that he was the most opulent prelate that ever filled the chair. In fact it is him that remarked

'There are two kings in England, namely the Lord King of England, wearing a crown in sign of his regality and the Lord Bishop of Durham, wearing a mitre in place of a crown, in sign of his regality in the diocese of Durham'.

The Bishop was usually attended by one hundred and forty knights, and having obtained the Patriachate of Jerusalem from the Pope, he procured the government of the Isle of Man from the king. Conscious of these honours and his palatanate rights he appears on his episcopal seal with a large cross moline embroidered on his upper robe, in the style of the temporal barons of those days.

It is for this reason that those pennies bearing the cross moline are attributed to the bishop. The marks are usually presented at the beginning of the legend on each side of the coin; others have the same cross in the second quarter of the reverse; and yet another type has it at the beginning of the legend, of the obverse only.

The coins, with the cross on the obverse or obverse/reverse, or in the second quarter of the reverse AND the kings name EDW, have the reverse legend as CIVITAS DVREME. These coins date from 1284 and are always 4b-e, 5b, 6b, 7b. CIVITAS DVRENE is also used for class 9a.and also 9b.

Edward I, Class 9b2, Episcopal Durham Penny

There are also coins with the name EDWAR and CIVITAS DVNELM or CIVITAS DVREME with the cross moline on the obverse only and these are 10ab, 10cf or 11a. It is believed that most, of the 10cf, and all of 11a were minted in the early reign of Edward II.  Anthony Beck died 3rd March 1311.

Edward I class 10cf3 Durham penny with the cross moline initial mark,
 but has an error in the obverse legend, reading EDWAN ANGL DNS HYB 

Edward I, Probably a Class 10cf, Episcopal Durham Penny

Image Courtesy of Sleddall Hall Antiques

In my next article, I will continue with Bishop Kellow. If in the meantime you have any images of ecipscopal pennies of Durham, you would like to share, please leave a comment and I'll get in touch. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tudor Gresham Ship wreck moves to National Diving Centre

The wreck of an Elizabethan merchant ship is being transported to a new home in Leicestershire after being raised from a Portsmouth lake.

The so-called Gresham Ship has been 6m (20ft) underwater at Horsea Island Lake since being moved there after its discovery in the River Thames in 2003.

A large crane was used to lift the 400-year-old wreck for the journey to the Stoney Cove National Diving Centre.

Project director Mark Beattie-Edwards said the ship was "in good order".

Its destination is the National Diving Centre - a flooded quarry at Stoney Cove - where it will be used as an "underwater classroom" to train nautical archaeologists

Full Story

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rare Martian Pink diamond sold for $17.4m in Hong Kong

Rare Martian Pink diamond sold for $17.4m in Hong Kong

A rare pink diamond has been auctioned for $17.4m (£11.1m) - far higher than expected - after six minutes of frenzied bidding in Hong Kong.

Auctioneers Christie's say that the diamond - the biggest of its kind ever to be sold - was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.

The Martian Pink diamond is extremely rare. Its owner believed it would fetch the best price in Hong Kong.

The diamond had been expected to sell for between $8m and $12m (£5m - £7.6m).

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pot donated to a Bristol-based charity's shop sells for £360,000

An old carved wooden pot anonymously donated to a charity shop in Bristol has been sold for £360,000.

The 300-year-old Chinese bamboo brushpot was spotted among a donation of wrapped items by workers at a St Peter's Hospice charity shop.

It was sold to a Hong Kong collector at an auction in Salisbury on Wednesday.

Janet Loud, from the charity, said it was "shocked but delighted" that the pot had "far exceeded the amount even experts believed it would raise."

After finding the donation the charity, unsure of what it had, were put in contact with antiques experts at auctioneers Woolley & Wallis.

Full Story

Wearside Echoes: Roman around Sunderland’s history

A FLURRY of ancient finds has sparked renewed calls for investigations into a possible Roman dam in Sunderland.

Historians have long debated the origins of a stone structure which once spanned the River Wear between North and South Hylton – but a definitive answer has yet to be unearthed.

Now a public meeting is to be held to discuss the topic further – with Wearsiders urged to bring along any ancient artefacts discovered in the area for closer examination.

“Recent Roman finds such as a figurine, pottery shard and several coins have re-ignited the debate over the history of the structure,” said Castle ward councillor and local historian Denny Wilson.

“One theory is that the Romans built it as a dam, to enable the transport of goods by boat much further up river. If proved to be Roman, this could really put Sunderland on the map.”

Full Story

Rare Roman coins, pottery pieces, stone weights excavated

Ancient history and archaeology department, University of Mysore, is conducting scientific archeological excavations at Haluru near Anuvanahalli of Shivani hobli, Tarikere taluk, Chikmagalur district.

It has unearthed prehistoric and early historic evidence with the help of M P Mahadevaiah, G Kariyappa, team of research scholars and MA students from more than two-and-half months.

Full Story

DIAMOND JUBILEE: Mayor hands out coins at schools

CHILDREN in Wantage were thrilled to be given their very own commemorative coins to mark the Jubilee.

To celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign, the town’s mayor Charlotte Dickson has been handing out specially minted coins to primary school children in Wantage and Grove.

Ms Dickson, pictured with Max Baker and Libby, left, and Georgia Holding, said: “The town council wanted to give the children a little memento of the occasion. Many of us remember getting the crowns from the Silver Jubilee so it seemed like a nice thing to do.”

Full Story

£9,500 diamond jubilee coin approved by the Queen

A coin containing 60 diamonds and costing £9,500 has been given a royal seal of approval by the Queen for her diamond jubilee.

Kingswood-based Pobjoy Mint, a private mint which makes coins for commonwealth countries around the world, has produced the commemorative piece for the government of Ascension Island.

Keeping in theme with the Queen’s landmark year, the coin is made with 60 ounces of fine silver and 60 diamonds, set into the crown on the design of the profile of the Queen. The crown has also been gold-plated to show-off the diamonds to their full effect.

Full Story

Metal detector hobbyists find possible WWII remains

It was an unusual rendezvous: a small group of Americans, a couple of German homicide detectives and a small bag of bone fragments.

Deep in the woods, about 20 miles southwest of Stuttgart, Kolby Lanham, a Spangdahlem airman, handed over the bone fragments he’d found.

The German police wanted first to rule out a crime scene. Then, their job was to determine whether the bones were human and whether they dated back to World War II, because they were found at what is believed to be a B-24 crash site. The police noted the small sample size, as they looked over the few pieces of bone.

Full Story

Be guided by expert around many of Wiltshire's Stone Age monuments

TV archaeologist Julian Richards is to lead a series of walks around the World Heritage site of Avebury this summer and autumn.

Dr Richards, who presented BBC’s Meet the Ancestors, is a noted expert on the archaeology of Avebury and Stonehenge and will be leading the Wessex Walks on Wednesday, June 6, Saturday, September 1, and Sunday, October 21.

The seven-mile circular walks begin at the Avebury stone circle and takes in many of Britain’s finest Stone Age monuments, including the West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill, the 130ft tall, 4,700-year-old artificial mound, sometimes referred to as Britain’s answer to the pyramids.

Full Story

Friday, 25 May 2012

Elizabethan wreck for Stoney

Leicestershire’s Stoney Cove is to gain the wreckage of a 16th century armed merchantman as a diving attraction and archaeological training ground.

The remains were salved from London’s River Thames in 2004 and transported to Horsea Island lake in Hampshire, were they were stored before the decision to move them to Leicestershire.

There are, says the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS), “five huge sections” which are to be sunk at Stoney on 1 June in a depth of just 6m.

Tree ring analysis of the ship’s timbers have suggested that it was built around 1574.

Full Story

BMI Hospital's treasure find to feature on television

When Heather Masters was approached by a man in shorts and muddy wellingtons asking her to X-ray an animal bone that had just been dug up, she immediately thought something seemed “a little bit strange”.

But Heather, who was imaging manager at BMI Sandringham Hospital, in Kings Lynn, soon changed her mind when the X-ray revealed the bone contained twenty gold coins that were more than 2000 years old.

The coins were discovered as archaeologists worked on the Iron Age site in nearby Sedgeford and were to become one of the most significant finds of the entire project.

The mud-covered man was Chris Mackie, a keen amateur archaeologist and Director of the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (SHARP). He admits that his excitement on that day back in 2003 may well have made him appear “a little bit odd, to say the least.”

Full Story

Local museum hope for buried treasure

ONE of the most significant hoards of coins to have been found in Caithness looks set to be displayed at a museum in the county.

Metal detector enthusiast Mikie Aitken (28), from Killimster, made a once-in-a-lifetime discovery after finding a total 46 coins that were thought to be over 700 years old.
Now accredited museums in Caithness are set to be given the opportunity to bid to display the coins at their premises.

Ever since they were first discovered in January, Mr Aitken’s coins have attracted attention from across the country, with experts describing the find as extremely significant.

After analysing the hoard, Treasure Trove Scotland discovered that the coins were in circulation only 30 years after Caithness became part of Scotland, predating 1290.

Mr Aitken said that the hope now is that the coins will return north and he is confident a new home can be found in Caithness.

Full Story

Chinese Hoard Found

THE Dock Museum has taken receipt of yet another hoard of coins that add a further chapter to Furness’ remarkable history.

A collection of 107 Chinese coins, some dating back to the early 1800s, was presented to the museum on Wednesday.

But while Furness fights to raise enough money to purchase the precious Viking hoard, there is no such campaign needed in this instance.

That is because up to 99 of the 107 coins are counterfeit and the hoard’s importance lies, not in its monetary worth, but purely in its historical value.

The coins were found in Dalton last August by metal detectorist Dave Taylor and will be put on permanent display in the coming months.

Full Story

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bronze Age treasure to be valued by museum experts

EXPERTS are due to meet today to work out the value of a Bronze Age treasure hoard found in a Carmarthenshire farmer's field.

The ancient find was unearthed by amateur metal detector Kevin Sawyer, who had only taken up the hobby six weeks beforehand.

Full Story


Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 2,700-year-old clay seal with the name of Bethlehem, showing that the town existed centuries before it was revered as Jesus' birthplace.

Discovered during the sifting‭ ‬of‭ debris ‬removed‭ ‬from archaeological excavations near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, the coin-sized clay seal, or bulla, was imprinted with three lines in ancient Hebrew script: "in the seventh," "Bethlehem" and "to the king."

"It seems that in the seventh year of the reign of a king ‭(‬it is unclear if the king referred to is Hezekiah,‭ ‬Manasseh or Josiah‭)‬,‭ ‬a shipment was‭ ‬dispatched from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem," Eli Shukron, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement Wednesday.

Full Story

Rare relic discovered in the Lowcountry

A rare relic from Charleston's days of slavery is making a huge buzz.
Just recently discovered, experts say it is a significant find because it belonged to a free person of color.  But the man who found it, has no plans to keep it.
Hal McGirt discovered the treasured relic on one of his many days of metal detecting at historic South Carolina Lowcountry plantations. When he swings the detector, there is a ping of unknown mysteries below.
McGirt gets down on his hands and knees to dig through the layers of earth, but has learned after some forty years of metal detecting, the beep doesn't always deliver. Most likely he will find a pop top or piece of lead. But sometimes he unearths an important artifact. 

Slideshow: Roman woman's remains back on display after 30 year absence

From finds by prehistoric hunters tens of thousands of years ago to fascinating Roman discoveries from a dig underneath Cambridge’s John Lewis, The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology reopens tomorrow after a £1.8 million refurbishment with a new exhibition charting the history of the county as well as many other world treasures. ALICE HUTTON takes a tour.

In 1952, builders dug up the coffin of a high-born Roman woman from the 4th century AD.
Lying in a woollen shroud, the 40-55-year-old had been placed securely in a hefty stone and lead-lined casket before being buried in Arbury.

Not safely enough it seems for not only did the undertakers put her in the wrong way round, but the skeletons of a mouse and shrew were also discovered, having had a good nibble at her ankle.

The gruesome remains might have inspired one of Sylvia Plath’s most iconic poems, All the Dead Dears, while she was studying at Cambridge University in the 1950s, but in the 1980s the coffin disappeared from public view at Cambridge University’s The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA).

Full Story

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Archaeologists identify mystery shipwreck

A MYSTERIOUS shipwreck that lay in the Solent for 160 years has finally been identified by archaeologists, and its fascinating history revealed for the first time.

The wreck, which lies on the Horse Tail Sands three miles east of Bembridge, was first discovered by fishermen in 2003, but it was another eight years before archaeologists from the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology were able to put a name to the vessel.

Its identity has been revealed to conincide with the release of a new book about the history of the wreck.

The trust said the wreck was that of the Flower of Ugie, a 19th century wooden sailing barque that sank in the Solent on December 27, 1852 following a great storm in the English Channel.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Long-lost ‘treasure’ recovered, returned

Keith Parker, an Oak Ridge resident, lost his class ring 27 years ago.

That ring turned up recently when another Oak Ridge resident found it while out searching for hidden treasure.

"I never, ever thought I'd see it again," Parker told The Oak Ridger this week.
Parker said he lost his class ring a year after graduating from high school.

In 1982, he purchased his class ring. "I mowed yards and I gave mom $10 or $15 at a time to put in a savings account that whole summer," he explained. Parker graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1984.

Commemorative Coins Stolen In Telford Burglary

Police are appealing for information after thieves broke into a Telford home and stole thousands of pounds worth of items including jewellery, electrical goods and five Australian commemorative coins.

The break-in happened at an address in Oval Close in St Georges and after thieves forced their way into the home by forcing a door.

They carried out a thorough search of all rooms and made off with a haul of items.

Police are now eager to trace the property and the offenders.

Full Story

Coins key to ship mystery

Shipwreck hunters will make a new expedition to the Abrolhos Islands in a bid to solve the 300-year-old mystery of the lost Dutch ship the Aagtekerke, which is thought to have gone down along the WA coast.

Hugh Edwards and his team believe the Aagtekerke struck Half Moon Reef in the archipelago off Geraldton when it disappeared en route to Indonesia in 1726.

Next month they hope to find some of the three tonnes of silver coins the ship was carrying between the Cape of Good Hope and Jakarta that could prove the wreck is in the Abrolhos Islands.

In light of the growing evidence gathered by Mr Edwards and his team, WA Museum maritime archaeologists are now also planning to survey the archipelago.

Full Story

Sunday, 20 May 2012

York High class ring lost 25 years ago found in mud at Winthrop Lake

Dennis Keith Harper – called “Kenny” almost all his life, who drives an electrical supply truck and has an 8-year-old daughter – never had a chance over the past two decades to give his class ring to his wife, Lynn, who has been called “Wendy” almost all her life.
“I lost the ring,” said Harper, 48, who graduated with the York class of 1981. “Twice.”
Harper paid for the ring by working weekends at a supermarket while in high school. It was real gold, with a big stone in it.
“Cost a hundred and seventy bucks back then – that was good chunk of change,” Harper recalled. “Big ring, my initials on it and everything.”
See, one girlfriend in high school – remember Harper is a guy from a time when guys gave their class rings to their girlfriends – had the ring about a year until the girl gave it back.
Harper then did what young guys have always done – he tried to find another girl to give it to. The next girlfriend had the ring for about three years, and it was thought to be lost until she found it behind a dresser and gave it back to Harper.

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/05/19/3985392/york-high-class-ring-lost-25-years.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Frome Coin Hoard - Archive 2010

The Frome Hoard is a hoard of 52,503 Roman coins found in April 2010 by metal detectorist Dave Crisp near Frome in Somerset, England.The coins were contained in a ceramic pot 45 cm (18 in) in diameter,and date from AD 253 to 305.

Most of the coins are made from debased silver or bronze.The hoard is one of the largest ever found in Britain, and is also important as it contains the largest group ever found of coins issued during the reign of Carausius, who ruled Britain independently from 286 to 293 and was the first Roman emperor to strike coins in Britain.

The Museum of Somerset in Taunton, using a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), has acquired the hoard officially valued at £320,250.


3 Year Old Finds £2.5 Million In Gold With Metal Detector - Archive

A three-year-old boy using a metal detector for the first time has unearthed a gold pendant estimated to be worth over £2.5m.

James Hyatt made the discovery while out with his father and grandfather in Hockley, Essex.

He had only been scanning the soil for a matter of minutes when it started beeping.

The trio, from Billericay, started digging and just eight inches deep, they saw a glint and found what they now know to be a 500-year-old gold pendant.

840 Gold Coins Wickham Market Hoard - Archive 2008

The Wickham Market Hoard is a hoard of 840 Iron Age gold staters found in a field at Dallinghoo near Wickham Market, Suffolk,England in March 2008 by car mechanic, Michael Dark using a metal detector.

It was the largest hoard of staters to be found since the Whaddon Chase Iron Age hoard in 1849.
The coins dated from 40 BC–15 AD and, at the time, would have been worth between £500,000–£1,000,000 to the Iceni tribes who inhabited the area.

In June 2011, the hoard was purchased by Ipswich Museum for the sum of £316,000.

Finding a Gold Coin

Metal Detecting Pastures Old and New in Cumbria

Metal Detecting Pastures Old and New in Cumbria

Values are Quietly Rising for Ultra Rare Coins

The rich are getting richer and they’re pushing values higher – sometimes much higher – for ultra rare coins.  It was back on July 7, 1989 that the first coin sold for the million dollar level – an 1804 silver dollar at $990,000, a coin that I have a vested interest in.  That was an exciting sale of a rare coin, one that made national news outside the hobby, but it just missed the million dollar mark by $10,000.

It took another seven years for the first coin to actually sell for more than $1 million – the Eliasberg 1913 Liberty nickel, at $1,485,000 on May 21, 1996.  Collector Bruce Morelan, who is publicly known to have owned examples of both of these rarities, told me several years ago that he’s observed that first one of the above coin issues sells for a record price, then it’s leapfrogged by the other, and so on.  And that’s just what we’ve seen.

Full Story

Counterfeit coin con cracked

Officers raided a makeshift factory where it is alleged crooks were churning out up to 1,000 counterfeit coins a day.

Cops suspect the forgers were planning to circulate the fakes during the Olympics — when the capital will welcome millions of extra visitors.

City of London Police found a smelting machine, ingots of metal and moulds for £2 and £1 coins in a rented room in an office block. Just 300 yards away, officers also raided a scrapyard hidden behind a wall of tyres where the coins were coloured with gold spray paint.

Rare $3 gold coin worth $4 MILLION goes on auction... and it was discovered in an old book

A $3 cold coin is expected to fetch $4 million when it goes up for auction next month. 

The 1870-S is one of just two ever made and is one of the rarest coins in US history. 

It was discovered in a San Francisco bookshop in 1997 by a European tourist, who found it glued to the inside pages of a souvenir book.

Heritage initiative to come to Chichester

An initiative lead by English Heritage to stem anti-social crime and combat the damage of heritage assets is coming to Chichester.

The main objective of the voluntary group, named Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage (ARCH), is to reduce the amount of crime that causes damage to or interferes with the enjoyment of heritage assets in England. Members of ARCH work together to preventi and see effective enforcement of heritage crime.

Cllr Janet Duncton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning at Chichester District Council and has responsibility for Community Safety, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum is with English Heritage, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Crown Prosecution Service to help tackle and reduce heritage crime offences.

Tool maker hits States with metal detecting kit

A metal detecting enthusiast who started making digging tools in his garden shed to help him find buried treasure has had his first bulk order from the United States.

Arthur Cole, aged 65, from Rowley Regis, used to run his own toolmaking business, but when orders dried up in 1980  he turned to metal detecting to fill his time.

He now has famous customers on his books, including Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and his tools regularly appear in the hands of archaeologist’s on Time Team

It was while out in the frosty fields of Shropshire where he and his fellow treasure hunters were trying to break through solid ground that he decided to develop a tool to make their lives easier. That tool is now set to go global.

Full Story

Hundreds of Roman coins found in Stoke-on-Trent field

MUSEUM officials are considering buying a huge haul of Roman treasure which has been discovered in a Stoke-on-Trent field.

Hundreds of coins more than 2,000 years old were found at the undisclosed location.

The solid silver sovereigns – some with immaculately-preserved images of the Roman emperor Hadrian – were discovered by metal detecting enthusiast Scott Heeley.

Experts say it is the most exciting discovery in the region since the Staffordshire Hoard, which is the largest haul of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.

Now officials at Hanley's Potteries Museum and Art Gallery must decide whether to buy the 242 coins and put them on public display.

Deb Klemperer, the museum's principal collections officer, said: "The last discovery of coins similar to these was back in 1998, but there were only around 18 coins in that find.

"This is very unusual for the area because it is quite a large find.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Roman remains found at controversial Windy Ridge site

ROMAN remains have been discovered at a site in Harborough which has been at the centre of a battle between developers and residents.

The Mail understands archeologists have found remains at the so-called Windy Ridge site off Glebe Road in Little Bowden.

County Hall, which is responsible for archeological finds, confirmed that Roman-era items have been unearthed but had no further details.

CgMs Consulting, planning, archaeology and historic buildings consultants, are dealing with the find.
Its associate director Myk Flitcroft was unavailable for comment today (Thursday, May 17).

Campaigners have been fighting against proposals for 141 homes at the site. The Windy Ridge Action Group wants to stop Redrow Homes building the homes. The developer has outline planning permission and has recently submitted more detailed plans for the site.

Archaeologists uncover graves of national significance near Meigle

A series of burial mounds have been excavated — thought to represent an ancient barrow cemetery — at Bankhead of Kinloch near Meigle.

Both the village and the surrounding area of Strathearn have proved a treasure trove of Pictish sites and artefacts over the years.

Despite the increase in the identification of these sites through aerial photography surveys since the 1970s, they are still generally rare and so are of immense significance.

Experts say the Meigle project represents the first complete excavation of a barrow cemetery to date, providing a unique opportunity to comprehensively analyse the monument.

Archaeological dig at Upton could find remains of a Roman suburb

ARCHAEOLOGISTS hope to uncover up to 1,000 years of Northampton’s history when they investigate a building site on the west of the town.

A dig on the latest phase of the Upton development is planned to take place next month.
Early examinations of the nine- acre site have suggested there could be both Iron Age and Roman finds beneath the ground.

Steve Parry, from Northamptonshire Archaeology, said: “The exciting thing about this project is that it gives us the opportunity to look at quite an extensive area.

“And we believe occupation on the site runs from the early Iron Age through to the end of the Roman period. So it’s getting on for 1,000 years of settlement and farming on the site.”

Initial tests on the site, which were carried out more than a decade ago, suggest there could be a road buried beneath the ground with a number of buildings facing onto it.

It is believed the buildings could have been a suburb of the Roman settlement of Duston.

Digging deep for bells and bones . . .

A mass archaeological dig led by a famous face took over a field in Clavering on Saturday.
Dr Carenza Lewis, of Channel 4’s TimeTeam, brought her Access Cambridge Archaeology team to the Uttlesford village’s Christian Centre in Stortford Road to carry out 29 separate digs.

Among the finds were bits of pottery ranging from Medieval times through to the Victorian period, animal bone, a medieval bell believed to have been used on a dog’s collar, a trading token dated 1669, and the remains of a commemorative cup from the 1700s, likely commissioned for a Christening or wedding.

But one of the highlights was a pre-historic leaf-shaped arrowhead which got the pulses racing.
Members of the public got in on the action too, helping by digging with their own shovels and sieving and washing the discoveries.

Dig uncovers secret past of Markeaton's lost hall

AN archaeological dig has uncovered the remains of foundations to the old hall in Derby's Markeaton Park.
The excavation, led by Trent Peak Archaeology and arranged by Derby City Council, aims to show people what an archaeologist's job involves.

Last weekend, it attracted dozens of volunteers, with 34 turning up on Saturday and 32 on Sunday.
They hope to repeat that this weekend.

Markeaton Hall was an 18th-century country house. It was used by the Army during the Second World War but then fell into disrepair.

It was eventually declared unsafe and was demolished in 1964, leaving only the orangery, a grade two listed building.

Full Story

Tomb team dig reveals Wakefield Cathedral’s ancient past

Ancient tombs are among intriguing archaeological finds unearthed during major redevelopment work at historic Wakefield Cathedral.

Cathedral chiefs are inviting the public to view the historic artefacts before they are re-buried.
The excavations have revealed worship has taken place on the site of the 800-year-old cathedral for more than 1,000 years.

Archaeologists started excavations inside the Grade I listed building as part of the multi-million pound redevelopment scheme, Project 2013.

They are removing buried remains from inside the nave to allow a new floor to be installed. The digging has already revealed 13 burials, most of which date back to the 18th or 19th century.
But archaeologists have also found two medieval stone graves and two probable early walls.

Full Story

'Bronze Age' boat is nearly history...

'Bronze Age' boat is nearly history...

A REPLICA Roman boat put together by a team of time detectives from Canterbury Archaeological Trust sank as soon as it was put into water for sea trials.

The disaster happened as Tony Robinson, who played Baldric in the TV series Blackadder, filmed it for his Channel 4 Time Team programme.

Full Story

So in this time of austerity, we think it is just to spend £1.7 million of Tax Payers Money (European Interreg Cash) on a replica boat, that as soon as it is put in the water sinks. Trust Baldric to be there!!

If it was such a good idea why isn't private sector funding, building the boat, and reaping the admission fees. Rant over.

ps. And nice to see the journalists know the difference between Bronze Age and Roman ................. not!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Methwold: Find of rare Roman coins

TWO examples of some of the last Roman coins to be struck in Britain were found by a metal detecting enthusiast on land at Methwold, an inquest heard on Friday.
Norfolk coroner William Armstrong declared the two Roman silver siliquae to be treasure after reading a report about them from expert Adrian Marsden at the British Museum.
The coins were found by David Wortley while he was using a metal detector on land belonging to DW Wortley and Sons during June and July, 2010.
They were described as from the late Roman period, both in good condition and with little trace of wear and most likely to have been lost soon after issue.
The report said: “Siliquae are rare as stray finds are often found heavily chipped. These two are unchipped, or nearly so, and also found within a few metres of each other. They were most likely lost together.”

Ancient language discovered on clay tablets found amid ruins of 2800 year old Middle Eastern palace

Archaeologists have discovered evidence for a previously unknown ancient language – buried in the ruins of a 2800 year old Middle Eastern palace.

The discovery is important because it may help reveal the ethnic and cultural origins of some of history’s first ‘barbarians’ – mountain tribes which had, in previous millennia, preyed on the world’s first great civilizations,  the cultures of early Mesopotamia in what is now Iraq.

Evidence of the long-lost language - probably spoken by a hitherto unknown people from the Zagros Mountains of western Iran – was found by a Cambridge University archaeologist as he deciphered an ancient clay writing tablet unearthed by an international archaeological team excavating an Assyrian imperial governors’ palace in the ancient city of Tushan, south-east Turkey.

Shipwreck Coins given to Spain

The U.S. Supreme Court has again steered clear of an international dispute over a half-billion dollars in gold and silver that a local salvage company discovered and brought from the ocean floor to Tampa.
The justices on Monday rejected appeals from Odyssey Marine Exploration, the deep-sea exploration company that found the wreck of a sunken Spanish galleon, and Peru, both of which objected to court rulings awarding the treasure to Spain.
In February, Spain took possession of 17 tons of silver coins and other artifacts estimated in 2007 to be worth $500 million.
Odyssey Marine Exploration has lost every round in federal court in its effort to hold on to the treasure it found when it discovered the wreck, believed to be the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, off Portugal's Atlantic coast near the Straits of Gibraltar. The ship was sunk in 1804.

Rare gold coin may fetch up to $4 million at Georgia auction

An auction gallery in Georgia is selling what’s believed to be one of the rarest coins ever made in the United States — a $3 gold coin estimated to be worth up to $4 million.

The coin is believed to be a 1870-S $3 piece from the San Francisco Mint that was found embedded into a souvenir book in a bookstore in San Francisco, according to Steve White, owner of the Four Seasons Auction Gallery in Alpharetta, Ga.
“It’s one of two, maybe three, known to have ever been minted by the San Francisco Mint,” White told FoxNews.com. “It’s almost folklore to have this kind of rare coin to be around.”

White said the only other 1870-S $3 gold coin known to exist was sold at auction in 1982 for $687,500. The coin will be auctioned on June 2 and White invited all potential buyers to bring an independent expert to authenticate the piece.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/16/rare-coin-estimated-at-up-to-4m-to-be-auctioned-in-georgia/#ixzz1v2qI1wzK

Items found in Norfolk declared treasure trove at King’s Lynn inquest

A 1,700-year-old gold ring and a 15th century silver badge were among five items declared treasure at an inquest held in King’s Lynn.

The piece of Roman jewellery was discovered by metal detector enthusiast Dr Stephen Hammond in Sedgeford in November last year.

The incomplete Medieval silver pilgrim badge and a 400-year-old gold mourning ring were both found by Michael Carlile in Outwell last year.
Also designated treasure were a 15th century silver mount found by Malcolm Parker in Oxborough in November and a 16th century silver gilt dress hook discovered by Marcus Virgo in Bawsey in January.
Norfolk coroner William Armstrong declared the items treasure at King’s Lynn County Court on Monday after hearing how they had been authenticated by experts at the British Museum.

Birmingham rail worker could have discovered next Staffordshire Hoard after finding hundreds of rare coins

Dad-of-three Scott Heeley found 211 silver Roman coins and 69 fragments dating back to the first and second centuries on farmland.
“It’s so exciting – my feet have not touched the floor since,” said the 50-year-old.
“I found an old penny and told my mate Jack ‘this penny will be bring me luck’ and I put it in my pocket.

“The detector carried on bleeping so I dug deeper and pulled out loads of silver coins from the hole.”

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Young archaeologist digs up Roman pottery

Young archaeologist digs up Roman pottery INDIANA Jones fan Sam Graham was thrilled to find some archaeological remains on his first ever dig. Archeox, the East Oxford Archaeology and History Project, has been running a series of digs in the Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys area.

The group has been looking for evidence of Romano-British pottery industries, Civil War defences and other evidence of the area’s past. On Saturday, Archeox members staged a dig at a house in Grebe Close, Greater Leys. Sam, a pupil at New College School in Oxford, said: “It was good fun and it has encouraged me to think about becoming an archaeologist.”

Full Story

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Help uncover secrets of Brede Woods

VOLUNTEERS are needed for a groundbreaking three week archaeological dig at Brede High Woods
The Woodland Trust is offering the opportunity for more volunteers to take part in its ‘Big Dig’ archaeology project at Brede High Woods between May 15 and June 2.
Currently 75 volunteers are signed up, but the Trust hopes to have many more take part during the course of the three year project.
Since December the charity has been undertaking a programme of small-scale excavations and survey work on a medieval farmstead, an iron smelting site and the site of a hop-pickers camp, all found within the woods. The excavations and surveys are attempting to date these and other features as well as determine their use, their construction and how they relate to the Brede Furnace and other historic features in the landscape.
To date the excavations have uncovered much domestic ‘rubbish’ associated with Brede High Farm (which was demolished in 1930) and the hop-pickers camp as well as all parts of the iron-smelting process. So far no evidence has been found that positively dates these features but larger scale excavations this year and next will hopefully answer these questions.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Roman coins found in Dorking

FRESH evidence has emerged that the Romans were active in Dorking.

Last month, six Roman coins from the third and fourth centuries were discovered near an industrial estate to the west of the town.

The coins included two barbarous radiate bronzes from the third century and three coins from the House of Valentinian, which date from about 364 to 375AD.

They were discovered by a member of the Weald and Downland Metal Detecting Club, based in Reigate, who had permission to search the land on which they were found.

The finds are now being studied by archaeologist David Williams, Surrey's finds liaison officer.
Mr Williams is recording the find and will be placing pictures on the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme's internet museum.

One of the coins is believed to bear the portrait of Victorinus, who was emperor for only two years from 269 to 271AD.

Wikipedea says Victorinus was murdered by a jealous husband whose wife he tried to seduce.
He was born to a very wealthy family and was a soldier under Postumus, the first of the "Gallic emperors".

Meteorite hunters descend on small gold country town

There is a new rush hitting gold country this week, but these miners weren't looking for nuggets. Instead, the hills were filled with meteorite hunters searching high and low for rocks from space.

In the small town El Dorado County town of Lotus, meteorite hunters by the hundreds have converged to try to find fragments of a meteor that came crashing down Sunday.

If they find a piece of the meteor, it could be worth more than gold.

On the road into the town, there's a sign that reads "Lotus Rocks." But on Thursday, there were a lot fewer rocks in Lotus than there were earlier in the week.

California Sifts Gold Claims

California is proposing to lift a ban on a once-common method of dredging gold from riverbeds, raising objections from some state regulators and prompting lawsuits against the state by anti-mining and pro-mining groups.

At issue is "suction-dredge mining," which uses equipment to vacuum up gravel and sift out gold. State lawmakers imposed a temporary ban on the method in 2009 to protect fish and water quality. In March, the California Department of Fish and Game proposed lifting the ban while imposing new regulations.

Artefacts found: Windsor Bridge progress may come to grinding halt

ABORIGINAL tools and colonial-era artefacts including ceramics have been unearthed on both sides of the Hawkesbury River by two teams of archaeologists working on sites where the new Windsor bridge would be built if the proposed Option One plan goes ahead.

If the items found are judged to be of historical significance it could call into question the entire development, or at the very least significantly slow it down.

But local historian Jan Barkley-Jack who followed the excavations on what is now the Hawkesbury Regional Museum claims the digs are literally just scratching the surface.

Both geotechnical and archaeological digs, overseen by Roads and Maritime Services and using specialist archaeological teams, began digging during the last week of April and are set to continue in several different locations both sides of the river until the last week of May.

Artefacts recovered so far – which include colonial-era iron nails, ceramics and charcoal, as well as Aboriginal tools – will now be studied in detail by other experts to establish their historical significance.

Museum project for Barnsley at last becomes a reality

RARE archaeological finds discovered in Barnsley will soon be coming home to a new £2.6 million museum and archives centre to be created in the Town Hall.

Experience Barnsley is the first museum telling the story of the borough. The project is being made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The museum will feature collections and stories spanning thousands of years to the present day and will be put together over the next two years.

The project has also attracted £62,400 in funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.
The cash is to pay for research into Barnsley’s archaeological treasures and provide opportunities for people to see the collections and become involved with projects working with them.

The museum is being put together with The University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology, with a whole team of researchers working on different areas of the collections.