20th March 2015 - Coin Hoard Blog - Jersey Heritage

It's been a quiet few weeks as we moved left across the hoard removing plenty of coins but finding nothing else. Essentially we had left behind us the area around the quern stone full of gold torques. This area is presumably rich because it was a where a jewellery filled bag or basket was poured into the hoard pit.


This week however we found two new items.  The first was a hollow copper alloy object about 30 x 15mm.  I don't know what it is but it looks like some torque terminals we've seen so it could be that.  Fortunately we will be having a visit next month by iron age jewellery expert Andrew Fitzpatrick and we should find out a lot more soon.  Then we found a new gold torque half loop, hurrah!  Both of these are above a piece of gold sheet and a cast copper alloy object we've been able to see for some time so it's looking like we've found our second "treasure bag" within the hoard mix.  We are still moving at our 5cm depth towards the hoard's pointy end so we are just passing over the top of the new torque.  We will excavate it more deeply soon however and see what else is also down there.

The background to these finds is of course the removal of masses of coins and this morning we reached a big milestone of 12001 coins.  This means a lot to us because the world's biggest celtic hoard prior to Catillon II (ours) was the Marquanderie hoard of 12000 coins, also discovered in Jersey before the second world war.  We have now therefore removed more coins from our current celtic hoard than have ever been found together in any other one.  The picture below is our hoard finder and volunteer Reg Mead with coin 12001. 

Richard Miles, our other finder/volunteer is coming to the end of his six month career break with us now and is having to return to his real job, boo hoo.  This is going to make a big difference to our work as Richard is our de facto local coin expert and he's been giving some coin identification training to the rest of the team so they can take over his work.  This won't be the last we see of him of course as he will still be volunteering on day's off but a big thank you Richard for all the help you've been able to give us. 

Thank you also to our photographer volunteer Rob Ferchal who has also reached his own milestone of 4500 coins imaged.  This is an amazing achievment in patience as each coin need two macro images on a numbered and scaled background.  He's built up a great pace and precision howeverand is more than matching our coin extraction rate.

The other big thing at the moment is the new hoard exhibition goin up outside our lab.  This one is specifically about the hoard's discovery and excavation and the discoveries we've been able to make since.  It opens on March the 25th and will be well worth a visit if you can make it.  That's about it for now so more news soon I hope.