An East Devon metal detector enthusiast has stumbled upon one of the largest hoards of Roman coins ever found in Britain, prompting a local museum to launch a campaign to buy the “remarkable” collection for the nation.
The British Museum announced the discovery of the Seaton Down Hoard today. Comprising of about 22,000 coins dating back more than 1,700 years, it is the fifth largest find of Roman coins in Britain.
Laurence Egerton, 51, a semi-retired builder from East Devon, discovered two ancient coins “the size of a thumbnail” buried near the surface of a field with his metal detector in November last year.
After digging deeper, his shovel came up full of the copper-alloy coins. “They just spilled out all over the field,” he said. “It was an exciting moment. I had found one or two Roman coins before but never so many together.”
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