The Acton Hoard was found at Acton, near Nantwich, in December 2014 by a local metal detectorist during a rally. It is a lovely little group of five silver denarii deposited within a lead cone shaped container with a lead disc stopper. The coins are all of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus, dated AD 194–8. The hoard is Treasure Case 2014 T966 and is recorded on the PAS website as LVPL-15E376.
The coins were all sitting within the lead container which was closed up using the lead alloy disc when they were discovered. Once the disc/stopper was removed the coins were discovered in fantastic condition. The container had not only protected the coins from abrasion which usually occurs when objects move around in the plough soil but the lead alloy container also prevented the silver coins from deteriorating due to a chemical reaction which occurs between silver and lead.
The container appears to have been made especially to hold the coins and this unusual method of concealment suggests that the hoard was deposited ritually rather than as a small pot of money that it was intended to recover. The hoard has been declared Treasure and was selected to go on display at the British Museum as part of the exhibition Hoards the hidden history of ancient Britain. The exhibition is free and runs until 22 May 2016. The Acton Hoard has been acquired by Nantwich Museum and will be returned to Cheshire following the exhibition.