IOW-38B400: Unknown: Unidentified Object (associated with Treasure case 2004 T131)

Rights Holder: Isle of Wight Council
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: IOW-38B400

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Treasure case no. 2004 T131. 18 gold staters, 138 silver staters, 1 thin silver coin, 7 copper alloy coins of the Roman period, 2 silver ingots, 1 copper alloy ingot, 5 sherds of Iron Age pottery and 1 copper alloy unidentified object. The unidentified object was determined to be not Treasure. The coins, ingots and pottery were all located in a single field within a limited area of 15 x 10 metres.


Potential Find of Treasure on the Isle of Wight Report to H M Coroner under the Treasure Act (1996) on the Coins BM Treasure Case 2004 T 131 Description and Circumstances of Find In March 2004, members of the Isle of Wight Detecting Club found a large group of Iron Age coins on farmland while searching with metal detectors. The find consisted coins, metal ingots and pottery. The coins found consist of 18 gold staters, 138 silver staters, and 1 thin silver coin. They also recovered seven copper alloy coins of the Roman period. There are three metal ingots (2 of silver and 1 of copper alloy), 5 sherds of pottery and an unusual copper alloy object. The coins, ingots and pottery were all located in a single field within a limited radius of 15 x 10 metres. They were brought to the British Museum on 17 May for identification and recording. Identification of Objects The Coins: The Iron Age coins were made probably in the late first century BC or early first century AD by the ancient British tribe of the Durotriges who lived in the area of Dorset before the Roman invasion of AD 43. The seven Roman coins belong to the first and second centuries AD. They are heavily corroded and mostly unidentifiable. Pottery: 5 sherds of pottery were recovered from the same vessel. Uncleaned and still with soil adhering to them, these sherds have not been weighed. The sherds come from the base of a handmade Iron Age pottery vessel made in a very dense sandy black/dark brown unoxidised fabric. About 40% of the circumference of the base is present and the vessel had a base diameter of 6-8 cms. There is considerable green staining to the soil on the inside of the pot showing that it originally contained the coins. This type of pottery was made between c.300 BC and c. AD 50. Metal Ingots: 3 metal ingots were found, all are of an irregular bowl shape. The largest ingot is made of copper alloy. It weights approximately 25kg and has a diameter of 32-35 cms. The smaller ingots are made of predominantly silver. One weighs approximately 11kg, has a diameter of 23 by 21 cms and a depth of 6 cms. The smaller weighs approximately 5.5 kgs, has a diameter 18 by 17 cms and a depth of 4 cms. Ingots of this shape are unusual finds, but a Late Iron Age date is not unlikely for these. Copper Alloy Implement: An unusual copper alloy object was recovered from the plough soil in the same area of the dispersed hoard. This object is cast as a single piece. It has an approximately crescent shaped head with a long handle, which is perforated at the end for suspension. The crescent head is decorated on both sides with 5 circles and has a 'V' shaped cutting edge; Length 105 mm, Maximum Width 48 mm. This object has no parallels in either Bronze Age, Iron Age or Roman period objects commonly found in Britain. The patina of the object is very different to the typical pale green patinas found on British prehistoric copper alloy objects. Scientific analysis shows the object is made of brass. Brass objects were not in use in Britain before the 1st Century AD, and not commonly in use until after the Roman Conquest in AD 43. The identification of this object is unclear. It has been seen by a number of colleagues from the British Museum and PAS. It is the opinion of one of the authors (JDH) that this is not an Iron Age or early Roman object, but a much more recently made object. One strong suggestion is that this is a relatively recent souvenir from a Mediterranean country. Replica 'razors' like this has been seen on sale in some Mediterranean countries. As it was found in the plough soil and not from a sealed context with either the coins or the ingots, it need not have been part of the hoard, but have found its way to the field at a (much) later date. Age and Date of Find The coins and pottery are all more than 300 years old. The metal ingots are probably associated with the coins and pottery and therefore more the 300 years old. The 2 silver ingots do, in our opinion, fulfil the criteria for Treasure. The coins if found on their own without the ingots, would fulfil the criteria for being Treasure, as there are more than 10 coins in the find, their precious metal content does not need to be considered under the Treasure Act. The pottery and copper alloy ingot fulfil the criteria of being objects associated with Treasure. From the Same Find? As the coins are all of the same type and were found within a restricted radius, it is likely that they all belong to the same find buried in antiquity. Moreover, almost all of the Ancient British coins were deliberately cut on the surface, probably as part of some religious ritual. This is a relatively uncommon occurrence on Ancient British coins, and it strengthens the case that these coins were buried together in antiquity. Some or all of the Iron Ages coins were probably deposited inside the pot. The association of the coins with the remarkable ingot finds strongly suggests a ritual explanation for the intentional deposition of so much metal in one place. Roman coins are often found on the same sites as earlier, ancient British coins, as people continued to make ritual offerings of coins in the same places as their pre-invasion predecessors. In my opinion, therefore, the seven Roman coins are also likely to belong to the same find as the Ancient British coins. The unusual brass object is probably of recent date and not associated with the Iron Age coins and ingots. We therefore conclude that all the above mentioned coins, ingots and pottery constitute a case of prima facie case of treasure. Dr Jonathan Williams Curator, Department of Coins and Medals The British Museum Dr JD Hill Department of Prehistory and Early Europe The British Museum 12 October December 2004

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Acquired by the British Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2004T131


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: IRON AGE
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: IRON AGE
Date from: Circa 50 BC
Date to: Circa AD 43

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 173

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 31st March 2004

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Treasure case no. 2004 T131
Treasure case number: 2004T131

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (From FLO)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Metal detecting rally
Current location: Acquired by the British Museum
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: IOW-54D1C2
Object type: COIN HOARD
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
20 Iron Age silver staters, 18 Iron Age and Early Roman pottery. Treasure case no. 2010 T323 (addenda to 2005 T443). Twenty Iron Age coins …
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: ESS-009610
Object type: HOARD
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
Bronze Age Hoard 44 fragments of copper alloy ingot fragments were discovered in 2000 (prior to the inclusion of such hoards in the Tre…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: BUC-5D0980
Object type: COIN HOARD
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
All of the coins are British Iron Age gold staters that would have been produced between about 60 and 50 BC. These coins are therefore roughl…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 6 years ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.