Reg Mead and Richard Miles have devoted more than 30 years of their lives to searching for the ancient treasure of Iron Age coins and precious metals.
Following a chance conversation with a farmer’s wife, Reg Mead was determined to discover what he thought would be a pot of coins buried in a field on Jersey’s north-east coast. With the help of Richard Miles they finally unearthed the Hoard in 2012. Instead of a pot of coins, they had discovered what is now known to be the largest hoard of Iron Age coins, jewellery and precious metals found anywhere in the world.
This treasure of compacted coins had lain hidden for up to 3,000 years. There are 70,000 coins in the hoard and some beautiful pieces of gold and silver jewellery. The coins belonged to a tribe of people called the Coriosolitae, who lived in an area of France that we now call Brittany and Normandy. It's impossible to know why the coins were buried in this field, but it is thought most likely the tribe tried to hide it from Roman tax collectors.
The hoard belongs to the Crown, but has been in the care of Jersey Heritage since it was lifted from the ground two years ago. Apart from a short public viewing in 2012, the treasure will go on public display for the first time in 2014, as the centrepiece of an exhibition explaining the links between the Channel Islands and France during the Roman era, links that remain today.
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