As expected it's composed of tight packed coins, obviously still in the same position they were buried, flat against the side of the pit. About half way done the side of the hoard I could see something else, a larger object, flat and twisted. A light wash and clean with a soft brush and suddenly there was gold, gleaming among the dark green coins. In twenty six years as a conservator I've never seen anything like this. You know intellectually that all information we can gather from the hoard is important and that such research is what drives the project but I wasn't prepared for how viscerally exciting finding gold is. It's not its financial worth, it's just spellbinding to see. The object is made of a sheet of thin gold, now apparently twisted and flattened. it looks like this is deliberate but it might have simply been crushed by the weight of coins on top of it. It's uncanny how gold doesn't corrode. It's been there two thousand years and all most of it needs is a wash. In some parts it was coated with a brittle green corrosion layer but this was simply corrosion from the surrounding coins and slipped off the gold surface when touched, leaving it looking as new as something in a shop window.