It’s taken just over six months, but I have now just about looked at all the Roman coin records on the PAS database. Ive updated a few and added Reece periods to many and parish by parish, county by county begun to build up a picture of what’s happening nationwide (well England-wide to be precise).
Excitingly there are 469 parishes England-wide with more than 20 ‘Reeceable’ coins so I’ve got a lot of data to play with. Next step is to encourage detectorists to bring forward assemblages to their local FLOs, especially in some of the more patchy areas (Kent and County Durham being two) and to look for some good excavation coin assemblages.
Then it’s on to the analysis stage and the possibilities are endless…I’ll be looking to assess site function through coin profile (I’m particularly interested in rural shrines and temples) and to see whether I can make sense of some obvious regional patterning.
Google Earth KMZ file
This odd little copper alloy object is actually a late medieval macehead, dating to around the 14th century. It’s perhaps not obvious, being a bit smaller than the huge spikey-ball-shaped-things you see Brian Blessed and Mel Gibson smacking into people’s faces (in films, that is). Indeed, many of these items may have been used as the heads of staffs, rather than in warfare, and some may even have had an ecclesiastical association. Nonetheless, Derek Clarke, who found the find, knew instantly what it was.
Derek found the object on the Isle of Wight, while metal detecting on a trip away with his club (Northampton Detecting Association). The find’s context is particularly interesting; it was found not far from the medieval Carisbrooke Castle! Derek had just come out detecting after lunch, and was covering an area of the field that his fellow detectorists had left well alone, on account of a fairly steep slope. Nonetheless, several of his colleagues had already gone over the spot where the macehead was found, without getting a signal they thought worth investigating. Derek is understandably proud of his find, as he says ‘the Gods were on my side, that day!’.
The find, and its place in the local landscape, provide a good example of how individual finds can tell us about past activity in an area. The findspot data will be reported to the local Sites and Monuments Record, helping them better understand the development of the medieval landscape around the castle.
Well done Derek!
The Somerset County Museum will close to the public on Saturday 19th April at 5pm for a Heritage Lottery Funded restoration and refurbishment.
Naomi Payne, Finds Liaison Officer for Somerset, will still be able to take in and return finds for identification and recording at the Museum on weekdays until August 2008. It is advisable to phone ahead to make sure she will be in the office when you wish to visit. Naomi’s direct dial telephone number is 01823 320206 and the Museum office telephone number is 01823 320200.
Naomi will be moving to the Record Office in Obridge Road, Taunton, in August 2008 and will be based there until new purpose built offices at Silk Mills are opened.
The Museum is due to reopen as the Museum of Somerset in August 2010.