This week the Essex PAS team recorded its 20,000th find. Essex has had a Finds Liaison Officer for just over a decade and this milestone has been achieved thanks to the help of many people that have been involved with the PAS throughout this time. In total, there have been 17, 435 finds recorded in Essex, Thurrock and Southend. But the team in Essex have regularly recorded finds found further afield, adding to this total. The 20,000th object is quite spectacular:
The 20,000th find is an Early Medieval silver coin known as a sceat, made some time in the years AD 705-715 (ESS-CCD2B1). It was found by Marc Rosenfeld, a member of the Essex Pastfinders metal-detecting club. Sceattas often imitated earlier Roman coins and this example is no exception. The obverse shows a bust facing right with either an elaborately spiky hairstyle or a very stylised radiate crown, common on Roman coins of the late 3rd century AD. On the reverse there is a box with the Latin “FIT RV” inside, meaning “made in Ru….” or if read clockwise “FIT VR” meaning “was made”. If the second interpretation is correct, it would suggest the text around the edge of the coin might indicate where the coin was made. All that can be seen are the letters -SVIC-, with one possible interpretation being [IP]SVIC (Ipswich).
Thanks need to go out to those in the metal-detecting community and to others who have found and reported their finds to the PAS for recording. Further thanks must go to PAS staff and volunteers who have worked in Essex over the years and to the wider PAS network that supports the recording of these finds. With the rate at which finds are being unearthed and the number of finds being recorded increasing every year, it is likely the next milestone (30,000 finds) will come around soon enough.
Here are some highlights from over the years: