NMGW-63CDFB: Five of the Roman silver denarii

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: NMGW-63CDFB

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Ninety-one Roman denarii, principally of the first and second centuries A.D. As found the coins are in differing conditions, some fresh, some encrusted with corrosion products, perhaps the result of contact with vegetable matter in the form of grass which appears to have been deliberately included within the container of the coins. A detailed study must therefore await conservation of the coins.

The coins were contained within the remains of a pottery vessel

The latest coin in the hoard is a denarius of Marcus Aurelius, dating to his eighteenth tribunician year, or A.D. 163-4. The Wick hoard forms a fairly typical mid-second century deposit, perhaps a single sum taken from currency in the mid-160s A.D, though there are some differences in composition between the coins from the upper and lower parts of the whole. The coins in the hoard are, broadly speaking, worn in proportion to their age at the time, with the latest issues in fairly fresh condition. Of note are three specimens of the coinage issued by M. Antonius in around 31 B.C.; these were of a lower standard than contemporary issues, but comparable with the issues following the time of Nero (54-68), and hoard evidence suggests that they continued to circulate, in a worn condition, until around the end of the second century A.D.

This is the third mid-second century hoard of Roman silver recorded from the Vale of Glamorgan. In December 2000, a comparable hoard of 103 denarii was found at Monknash, this had been buried about fifteen years earlier, c.150 (Treasure case Wales 2000.15); a less well recorded hoard of 38 coins was found near Bonvilston in 1798. Together these and numerous single finds give weight to the notion of a monetised economy in this area in the middle of the second century.

The pottery vessel

The hoard container had been truncated, presumably by ploughing, leaving only the wall below the girth and the base, with even these shattered and held together entirely by the soil around them. The jar was wheel thrown in a moderately granular brown fabric with a grey to dark grey surface, burnished externally either side of a lattice decoration of burnished lines. The filler consists of grit including some (presumably calcitic) which have leached out leaving voids). Although not Black-burnished Ware, the intention of the potter appears to have been to produce a vessel reminiscent of that fabric. One may assume a local origin.

In the absence of a rim, one is reliant upon the fabric and the decoration to offer any indication of dating independent of the jar contents. The fabric would be more appropriate to the period between the late 1st and the late 2nd century as, after that date only imitations of Black-burnished Ware in South Wales Grey Ware are at all common, whereas our vessel is in a fabric which, although probably local, does not seem to be in that tradition.

In the case of imitations of Black-Burnished Ware, it is reasonable to expect the lattice decoration to follow the fashions of the originals. On jars, these show a reasonably steady progression from lattice work with a sharp acute angle to the upper and lower angles in each diamond in the first and earlier second century, through to a markedly obtuse angle in the same position in the late third and fourth centuries (cf. Gillam 1976, types 1-14). Our lattice fits somewhere in the middle of this sequence, with a lattice with angles part way towards the obtuse and certainly greater than right angles at the top of the diamonds. This would normally be categorised as probably of third century date.


From pot Loose from finders Total
M Antony, c.31 BC 3 3
Nero, AD 54-68 1 1
Galba, 68-9 1 1
Vitellius, 69 2 2
Vespasian, 69-79 8 8 16
Titus, 69-79/79-81 2 2
Domitian, 69-81/81-96 5 2 7
Nerva, 96-8 1 1
Trajan, 98-117 9 10 19
Hadrian, 117-38 3 11 14
Antoninus Pius, 138-61 11 2 13
Diva Faustina I 3 2 5
M Aurelius, 161-80 1 2 3
L Verus, 161-9 1 1
Faustina II 1 1 2
Uncertain 1
Totals 46 45 91

Class: Coin

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014TW27


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 163
Date to: Circa AD 170

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 91

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 13th December 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Edward Besly
Identified by: Dr Peter Webster
Secondary identifier: Mr Mark Lodwick

Other reference numbers

Other reference: ST 2016.12
Treasure case number: 2014TW27
Museum accession number: 2016.15H

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
District: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Wick (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SS9171
Four figure Latitude: 51.42748949
Four figure longitude: -3.56921717
1:25K map: SS9171
1:10K map: SS97SW
Grid reference source: GPS (From FLO)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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