Ashwell treasure find 'rare' and 'significant'

A COLLECTION of Roman, Bronze, and Iron Age artefacts discovered in Crow Country have been hailed as a rare and significant find. The items, which were originally dug up from a site in Ashwell in 2003, include the silver base of a Roman figurine, piec

A COLLECTION of Roman, Bronze, and Iron Age artefacts discovered in Crow Country have been hailed as a "rare" and "significant" find.

The items, which were originally dug up from a site in Ashwell in 2003, include the silver base of a Roman figurine, pieces of armour dating back to the Iron Age, and hundreds of coins and bone fragments. At an inquest held at Hertfordshire Coroner's Court in Hatfield yesterday (Thursday), coroner Edward Thomas declared the items treasure.

Archaeologist Gilbert Burley, from North Herts Archaeological Society, told the inquest that the items were excavated following the discovery of the original Ashwell hoard in 2002.

He said: "Treasure hoards of this nature are very rare things, and the Ashwell hoard is the first of its kind excavated for 200 years.


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"After the discovery of the initial hoard, we at the North Herts Archaeological Society carried out further excavations over the following four years.

"These items are probably related to the main hoard, but were buried separately," he said.

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Mr Burley explained that there was a settlement on the land in Roman times, probably housing 200 - 300 people.

Some of the items, which also include pottery, oyster shells, and animal bones, were buried to mark funerals or feasts, while others may have been left as a tribute to the goddess Senuna, as there is thought to have been a temple in the area.

Dr Ralph Jackson, from the British Museum, has been researching the hoard, and told the inquest: "The original hoard is a fantastic find, and this collection is rare and significant."

The items have been housed at the British Museum since they were discovered, and now that they have been declared treasure a valuation can be made by the museums valuation committee.

Once this has been completed, the museum will be able to purchase the items to add to their collection permanently.

The original hoard is already on display in the museums Weston Gallery of Roman Britain.

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