17 April 2015 - Coin Hoard Blog - Jersey Heritage

We've had an interesting visit from Dr Andrew Pitzpatrick of Leicester university this week and he's been able to enlighten us as to the origins of some of our jewellery.


It seems that our torques are similar to ones found in several sites in the north of France and in Belgium.  He also thinks that they probably date from between 125BC and 75BC making them perhaps fifty to one hundred years old when they were buried, if our dates are correct.  When we were looking at images Andrew had of some of the torques from these sites one could see a red material coming of of open ends or cracks in them.  This apparently is beeswax which was used as a filler inside the thin walled gold.  We can see a similar dark red resin like material in several places on ours so it may well be the same thing.  

Andrew also revealed that the larger "buffer" type of torques (in the picture below) are made of two pieces that lock together at the "buffer" rings.  He describd a way to "push and twist" them to get them apart which scares the hell out me.  I don't think I'll be the one to try that once we've cleaned them!

His overall impression seemed to be that we had a scrap hoard of material waiting to be re-melted and worked into new coins and objects.  He also has reservations about the general dating system used for coins from the Coriosolitae tribe.  He's not convinced essentially (and I hope he won't mind my version of what I think he said) that they could have suddenly geared up to produce tens of thousands of coins at the time of Caeser's invasions when they had no history of coin making before.  If he's right then it means that many of the coins could be older than currently thought.  I'll leave this to him and particularly Phil De Jersey our go-to coin expert to sort out.

Conservation wise, we plug on.  No dramatic finds in the last week or so but we've removed getting on for thirteen thousand coins now.  Viki has been working on a 3D computer model of the hoard and is now superimposing photographic images onto it for the first time with great results.  Once we've got something finished we'll put it up on our website.  I'm not sure if I'll get a blog out next week as I'm going to Bath for a meeting about the 33,000 roman coin Bath hoard.  This should be exciting and it will a great chance to catch up with colleagues.  Bye for now then and I'll get when I've got more news