HOARD

Unique ID: IARCH-5E5FEF

Workflow status: Published Find published

Known as

Dorchester

Quantity summary

  • Coins in hoard: 22121
  • Containers for the hoard: 3

Chronology

Broad period: ROMAN

Coin chronology

Last ruler: Valerian I
Last Reece period: Period 12 Gordian III to Valerian (238-260)
Date from: AD 257
Date to: AD 257
Terminal reason: Date of latest coin


Image use policy

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

Coin summary

Download as CSV
Period Ruler Denomination Mint From To Quantity
ROMAN Julia Domna Radiate (antoninianus) - AD 211 AD 217 4
ROMAN Caracalla Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 22
ROMAN Macrinus Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 1
ROMAN Elagabalus Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 120
ROMAN Julia Maesa Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 7
ROMAN Severus Alexander Denarius (Empire) - - - 5
ROMAN Julia Mamaea Denarius (Empire) - - - 1
ROMAN Maximinus Denarius (Empire) - - - 6
ROMAN Balbinus Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 29
ROMAN Pupienus Denarius (Empire) - - - 1
ROMAN Pupienus Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 38
ROMAN Gordian III Denarius (Empire) - - - 2
ROMAN Gordian III Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 8886
ROMAN Unspecified ruler (contemporary copy) Radiate (antoninianus) - AD 238 AD 244 2
ROMAN Tranquillina Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 2
ROMAN Philip I Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 4939
ROMAN Otacilia Severa Denarius (Empire) - - - 1
ROMAN Otacilia Severa Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 1000
ROMAN Philip II Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 1050
ROMAN Trajan Decius Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 1451
ROMAN Herennia Etruscilla Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 518
ROMAN Herennius Etruscus Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 270
ROMAN Hostilian Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 82
ROMAN Trebonianus Gallus Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 769
ROMAN Volusian Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 632
ROMAN Aemilian Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 50
ROMAN Cornelia Supera Radiate (antoninianus) - - - 2
ROMAN Valerian I Radiate (antoninianus) Rome - - 254
ROMAN Gallienus (Joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Rome - - 169
ROMAN Mariniana Radiate (antoninianus) Rome - - 20
ROMAN Salonina (joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Rome - - 52
ROMAN Valerian II Radiate (antoninianus) Rome - - 7
ROMAN Valerian I Radiate (antoninianus) Gallic mint - - 58
ROMAN Gallienus (Joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Gallic mint - - 163
ROMAN Salonina (joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Gallic mint - - 44
ROMAN Valerian II Radiate (antoninianus) Gallic mint - - 23
ROMAN Valerian I Radiate (antoninianus) Viminacium - - 33
ROMAN Gallienus (Joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Viminacium - - 17
ROMAN Salonina (joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Viminacium - - 14
ROMAN Valerian II Radiate (antoninianus) Viminacium - - 6
ROMAN Valerian I Radiate (antoninianus) Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) - - 5
ROMAN Gallienus (Joint reign) Radiate (antoninianus) Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) - - 1
ROMAN Valerian I Radiate (antoninianus) Eastern mint - - 1

Coin data quality rating: Good (Grade 3)

Description

Robertson 2000, 103-104 no. 470: ""On May 11, 1936, there was discovered in Dorchester, Dorset, one of the largest and most important hoards of Roman coins ever found in our island. It was found at the back of 48 South Street, during rebuilding for Messrs. Marks and Spencer, in a pit in the garden of a large Roman building some 30 ft. to the west..
The coins were contained in a one-handled bronze jug, a wide bronze basin, and in what had once been a wooden keg with bronze clasps: Of the last only the slightest traces remained. The coins were covered with a thick green incrustation, uniform throughout - a fact that at once suggested, what was borne out by the subsequent classification of the coins, that the hoard, though spread over three separate containers, was essentially a single one."
H. Mattingly, in NC, 1939, 21-61, types, mints. wts., pls II-IV of some coins
Of 22,121 coins sent to the BM for identification, 20,748 - 16 den., and 20,732 ant. - were:
Den. Ant.
Julia Domna (under Caracalla) 4
Caracalla 22
Macrinus 1
Elagabalus 120
Julia Maesa 7
Severus Alexander 5 Julia Mamaea 1
Maximinus 6
Balbinus 29
Pupienus 1 38
Gordian III 2 8888
Tranquillina 2
Philip I 4939
Otacilia 1 1000
Philip II 1050
Trajan Decius 1451
Etruscilla 518
Herennius 270
Hostilian 82
Treb. Gallus 769
Volusian 632
Aemilian 50
Cornelia Supera 2
Valerian I 346
Mariniana 20
Gallienus (joint reign) 346
Salonina (joint reign) 110
Valerian II 36

16 20,732
(1 forgery, 1 cast)
(10 overstruck; 85 "Divi")
(3 overstruck)
(4 overstruck)
(4 overstruck)
(3 overstruck)
(1 overstruck)
(1 of AD 257)
The overstrikes were on earlier den. There were 25 other overstrikes, whose undertypes could not be recovered.
JRS, XXVII (1937), 263, gave a photo. of the hoard as found.
2,817 coins in Dept. of Coins and Medals, BM (BM Register of Coin Accessions, April/May 1937).
1500+ coins, with bronze jug and bronze bowl, in County Museum, Dorchester. Other sets of coins in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Birmingham City Museum, Hull City Museum, Portland Museum, Rye Art Gallery, and in Dept. of Archaeology, University of Sydney. 1 in Curtis Museum, Alton.
The bronze bowl has a diam. of 1 ft. 4 in., and a ht. of 6 in. It has a footstand about 1 in. high. The bronze jug has a ht. of 1 ft. 3/4 in., and diam. at the top 4 3/4 in., at the base 4 in. Its greatest width is 7 in. It has a handle with two bird's beaks, and a Silenus mask as ornament.
Examined, 1960 (ASR)
E. Besley and R. Bland, in The Cunetio Treasure (1983), 181-7, gave a detailed description, with types, mints, of 867 ant. from the Dorchester, 1936, hoard. These included 5 more ant. of Valerian I, and 4 more of Gallienus, joint reign, than were listed by H. Mattingly:
Rome Gaul 'Viminacium' Antioch Eastern TOTAL
mint
Valerian I 254 58 33 5 1 351
Mariniana 20 20 Gallienus (joint reign) 169 163 17 1 350
Salonina (joint reign) 52 44 14 110
Valerian II 7 23 6 36

502 288 70 6 1 867
The 254 ant. of Valerian I, minted at Rome, included 5 hybrids (rev. of Gallienus)
The 169 ant. of Gallienus, minted at Rome, included 7 hybrids (rev. of Valerian I)"

Notes

A small proportion (1373 coins) of those recieved at the British Museum were returned uncleaned and unidentified. Mattingly (1939, 23) also considered that "some hundreds" of coins went astray before reporting. The coin hoard was thought to be one deposit on the basis of the uniformity of the corrosion products - it is unclear if they were analysed separately before this conclusion was made. Note comments by Besly and Bland (1983, 181) about the accuracy of the identifications in the 1939 catalogue. Robertson's summary has been followed here for the hoard as a whole but the mint attributions for the joint reign of Valerian and Gallienus by Besly and Bland have been entered (note that they list here 9 more coins than in the original summary). The hoard contained a number of overstrikes in the coinage from Decius to Volusian, struck on earlier denarii.

The latest dated coins are of Valerian (Rome) TR P V and Gallienus (Antioch) "which belongs to an issue which includes a type dated TR P V (c. 257)".

See also IARCH-1DEABE for a group of coins thought to be from this hoard.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: British Museum (part); Dorset County Museum (part)

Materials of coins and artefacts in the hoard

  • Base Silver
  • Copper alloy
  • Silver
  • Wood

Containers linked to this hoard

Record ID: IARCH-AB4E81
Object type: VESSEL
Broad period: ROMAN

Record ID: IARCH-AB5BAC
Object type: VESSEL
Broad period: ROMAN

Record ID: IARCH-AB61E4
Object type: VESSEL
Broad period: ROMAN

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 11th May 1936 - Monday 11th May 1936

Personal details

Recorded by: Dr Eleanor Ghey

Other reference numbers

Legacy hoard number: 512
SMR reference number: HER MDO19033

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: West Dorset (District)
To be known as: Dorchester

Spatial coordinates


Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Building work
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Built over

Archaeological information

Background

The site has been excavated.
First excavation year: 1936
Archaeological context data quality: Fair

Site details

Site class: Urban
Site type: Settlement
Landscape and topography: Hill or mountain (side or slope)

Site chronology

Broad period: ROMAN

Context details

Feature: No apparent feature
Recovery method: Non-archaeological intervention

References cited

Audit data

Recording Institution: IARCH
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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