Freckenham Staters at the Fitzwilliam

Attentive readers will recall David Mons Plunus, who brought an impressive collection of coins he had discovered with his metal detector in the fields around Cambridge into the school last year.

Now a somewhat larger hoard of Iron Age coins found at Dallinghoo near Wickham Market in Suffolk in 2009 has gone on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Wickham Market HoardThe coins, dating from 40 BC to 15 AD (when they appear to have been buried) were originally found by a certain Michael Darke, with the help of Keith Lewis (who declared the excavation “a bit tedious, cos’ you’d be thinking ‘oh God, there’s more and more coming out'”) using a metal detector, as detailed in the following report.

Most of the 840 coins, so-called Freckenham staters, were minted by the Iceni tribe (which Boudica would later lead to rebellion and destruction against the Roman occupation). Their contemporary value is estimated to have been the equivalent of between half a million and a million pounds – their burial may have been a votive offering of some kind, or perhaps a form of insurance.

The hoard was declared treasure trove in 2009, and eventually sold to the Ipswich Museum for £316,000, the proceeds being divided between the landowner and the two finders.

The coins are on display in the Octagon Gallery of the Fitzwilliam Museum until 2nd March 2014. Entrance is free. 

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