The good news of all this busyness is that our weekly rate of cleaning coins has gone up from perhaps 350 to something like 700 or 800. This is great for us as it means that we are now making the rate we need in order to successfully complete our project within its three year time limit. We may even make an average that would allow for more thorough cleaning of the coins or new research which would be a bonus.
The appearance of the hoard is changing more rapidly now as well. We've removed over 16000 coins so we are over a quarter of the way through and we can now see gold jewellery and other items pretty much all over the area we've cleared. We will complete the removal of this first 5cm vertical layer from edge to edge before we remove any of the torques. At first we'd planned to have "removing" public events each time one came out but we've realized that it would be better to laser scan and record all the jewellery in situ before we remove any of it. We will now probably have one very intense week of torque extraction later in the year therefore before we start to remove the next layer of coins.
New objects are still coming to light at the rate of about one per week. The latest, yesterday, is a beautifully decorated sheet gold torque section. It's the ribbed object laying over the circular torque in the top picture. The raised lines and dotted patterns are beautifully done. We think it's essentially a squashed sheet gold tube and that a number of these were combined over an iron core and beeswax filler to make an imposing looking torque.
Arthur Pod, our millipede find from a couple of weeks ago has made headlines locally, (literally in our local paper, front page "2000 year old millipede found)". He's become a firm favourite view through a microscope for visitors but I fear his moment in the spotlight must be short lived so he'll soon join all of our other less illustrious samples in our fridge until his next appearance for a researcher at some point in the future.
That's it for now I think but I'll get back soon when we know more