Hoards of valuable materials, particularly coins, are a common and rapidly growing class of discovery across the Roman Empire. While these are usually seen as having been deposited for safe keeping, other explanations for this activity are also possible.
Examining the meaning behind the hoards
A new study has begun by the British Museum and University of Leicester, supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant of £645K for a 3-year project on “Crisis or continuity? The deposition of metalwork in the Roman world: what do coin hoards tell us about Roman Britain in the 3rd century AD?”
There has been little explicit discussion or research on why Roman coin hoards were buried, why hoards were not recovered in antiquity, or what they tell us when studied as a group. Over 660 hoards are known from Britain containing coins of the period AD 253-96, an unprecedented concentration, and they provide a key and under-used dataset that can shed light on a poorly known period of British archaeology and history.Read the rest of this article...