PAS-984616: Iron Age coin hoard

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: PAS-984616

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

During Fieldwork undertaken by the Hallaton Fieldwork group in Leicestershire in 2000, a series of metal detector finds were made by Mr Ken Wallace. The material, including 146 British Iron Age coins and 59 Roman coins, was suggestive of a significant Iron Age site, something quickly confirmed by excavations carried out by the University of Leicester Archaeological Service (ULAS). An inquest held in 2003 found the estimated 2,500 coins and associated finds to be Treasure. The associated material consisted of a silver-gilt iron cavalry helmet, scrap metal and ingots, fragmentary brooches and a large quantity of animal bone deposits. Because many of the coins were excavated in blocks complete with surrounding soil matrices (to be separated and conserved at the British Museum), the exact number of coins could only be estimated at that time. Excavations conducted since the 2003 inquest have revealed a further number of coins and artefacts.

Complete summary of the assemblage

We are now in a position to produce a more accurate assessment of the complete assemblage. Including initial metal-detector finds and material excavated between 2001 and 2005 it can be summarised as follows:

Coins: Roman coins 334 Iron Age coins 4952 Other 8 Total 5294 Other finds: 88 metal objects and a quantity of animal bone The metal artefacts include a Roman silver-gilt iron cavalry helmet dating to the first century AD, a number of fragments of silver and copper alloy brooches of later first or early second century AD date, silver and copper ingots, folded silver and copper sheet and scrap.
Origins and dates The majority of the Iron Age coins were made in the East Midlands and are generally attributed to a tribe known as the Corieltavi. Additionally, smaller numbers of coins produced by the other tribes of Iron Age Britain are represented, most significantly, those from the south-east struck in the name of Cunobelin. The Iron Age coins all date to the Late Pre-Roman Iron Age, with the majority struck during the first half of the first century AD.

The Roman coins include a number of silver coins of the Republican and early Imperial periods of Roman history that are more or less contemporary with the Iron Age coins, together with a smaller number of later silver and bronze coins dating from between the mid first and fourth centuries AD. These later coins are indicative of continued activity at the site throughout the Roman period.

In terms of the non-coin material, the majority of the datable material (brooches, the helmet, etc) seem to date to the second half of the first - or early second - century AD.

The excavations of the site suggest that the majority of the coins were deposited in a series of discrete groups as part of a ritual act or religious observance. This is certainly connected with ritual feasting indicated by the large quantities of contemporary animal bone deposits. The coins should be viewed as having entered the archaeological record in this way, rather than as having been buried for safe-keeping.

It seems likely that most of this activity was taking place in the middle decades of the first century AD, at around the time of the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. Other material - including the later Roman coins and Romano-British metalwork - suggest that the site continued to be visited at least until the end of the Roman period.


All the material above satisfies the requirements of the Treasure Act with regard to its date. Since more than ten coins are involved the question of metal content is irrelevant, but the majority of coins are struck from gold or silver well in excess of the 10% threshold defined by the Act.

Religious sites of this kind where a series of votive offerings were made at the same location (whether by different people at different times or on the same occasion) are mentioned in the Revised Treasure Act Code of Practice (paragraph 15) as a class of site that is embraced by the definition of Treasure.

Although a wide range of finds were discovered from several different deposits at the site, some of which had been scattered within the plough-soil, it is clear that they all belong to the same ritual context. All the metal objects may reasonably be said to have come 'from the same find', and as such constitute a prima facie case of treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act (1996).

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2000T236


Broad period: IRON AGE
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa
Date to: Circa AD 400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Ian Richardson
Identified by: Dr Ian Leins
Secondary identifier: Dr Jeremy Hill

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2000T236
Museum accession number: X.A102.2001

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Secondary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Leicestershire (County)
District: Harborough (District)
Parish or ward: Hallaton (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP7896
Four figure Latitude: 52.55626
Four figure longitude: -0.850942
1:25K map: SP7896
1:10K map: SP79NE
Grid reference source: Centred on parish
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found in February 2001
Current location: Market Harborough Museum

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: PAS
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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