Derbyshire Unearthed is an exhibition at Derby Museum and Art Gallery celebrating the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Treasure Act 1996 on 24th September 1997 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the founding of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The exhibition is in two parts. Part 1: Artefacts runs from 23rd September 2017 to 4th February 2018. Part 2: Coins and coin hoards will run from 10th February 2018 to 22nd April 2018.
The exhibition forms part of the national ‘20 Years of Treasure‘ celebrations organised in partnership with the British Museum. It features fascinating Treasure objects from Derby Museums’ collection as well as non-Treasure that have been lent or donated by their finders. Here are a few of the highlights:
Alastair Willis’ new book ’50 Finds from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire: Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme’ has just been published. The book demonstrates the region’s importance within the country and its links with the outside world. It includes some of the most spectacular finds from the two counties, including the famous Newark Torc and the Ashbourne Hoard, but also some less well-known objects that are just as important for our understanding of the past. Many of these objects are on display in local and national museums. The book is available in local museum shops, from Amberley Publishing or from Alastair at events.
The counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are an area of transition between the north-west and the south-east, highland and lowland, pasture and arable, rural and urban. These geographical divides shaped ancient tribal boundaries and continued to act as a border after the Roman conquest of southern Britain. The Trent and its tributaries were important trade routes linking the area with other parts of Britain and the wider world. Many settlements, including the important towns of Nottingham, Newark and Derby, sprang up on their banks during the Roman and medieval periods. Consequently, the finds from the area are diverse and reflect influences from different parts of the country and beyond.
The objects in this book were found by members of the public and have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. They provide us with an insight into the lives of our ancestors, the people who lived and worked in these two counties, the people who did not make it into the history books. The objects span a period of at least 180,000 years and represent the whole spectrum of society, from the hand axe of a hunter-gatherer to the neck torc of an Iron Age chieftain to a token halfpenny of a seventeenth-century coal miner.