The interesting thing on looking at the hoard at this point is that none of us thought it looked like we'd removed anything like one seventh of the coins. This led us to wonder if our coin number estimate would have to be raised. In an effort of check this I repeated the estimate process I used at the begining (estimating the hoard's total volume and then checking what number of coins fit into a known volume). This time though the process could be a lot more accurate as I used the shoebox sized first area we removed coins from as the smaller volume and we knew that about 4500 coins came from that area. Running the numbers gave us a total of 70,950 which is amazing as that's within about 1% of our first estimate two years ago. The only unknowns are the total hoard volume which is still an estimate and whether the number of small coins in different parts of the hoard will change the coins per volume figure. Still, it was re-assuring that our plans still seem to be on target for the three year project.
We've uncovered a largish area to the "left" of the gold jewellery area on the hoard the and it's been a bit of a drought as goes new precious metal finds. We found a couple of small silver loops, perhaps from a chain but it been coins, coins otherwise. We seem to have passed out of the area where a particularly treasure filled bag or basket was poured into the hoard hole. We know there is more to be found however as we are moving towards a part of the hoard where we can see some sheet gold and a bracelet sized gold object.
One nice thing we've now cleaned is a tiny bundle of silver wire we found some time ago. The silver is very pure and it cleaned up nicely in the same formic acid bath we use for the coins. What is amazing is how thin the wire is. It appears to have been cut from a sheet of almost foil like silver . The wire strips were cut only 1/4th of a mm wide. It's incredible to think they were able to do this in the iron age with the tools available to them. I wonder if they used an iron blade to do the cutting or perhaps flint?