Hoard site, National Herb Centre, Warwickshire

Description of this historic site

The site of a hoard discovered by a metal detectorist in 2008 of 1,146 denarii in a pot. Subsequent investigation by Warmington Heritage Group has recorded that the hoard was buried in a pit within the walls of a polygonal/circular stone building, with other possible votive deposits recorded in the vicinity. Excavation is ongoing.

Notes about this historic site

1 A hoard of 1121 silver denarii were recovered by a metal detectorist in Warmington in 2008. They were buried in a white ware pot. The hoard consisted of 773 Republican and 348 early Imperial denarii; the earliest identifiable coin is a ROSTRUM TRIDENS (206-195 BC) and the latest is a PONTIF MAX TR P X COS IIII of Nero (63/4AD). The majority of the coins present will have a high silver content of between 80 and 98%. Early Roman hoards of this nature are not uncommon and one or two other, much smaller examples have been discovered within Warwickshire. The coins were declared Tresure in 2012 and are now on display at Warwick Museum.
2 A resistance, then magnetic survey was carried out over the location of hoard and surrounding area. Subsequent excavation by Warmington Heritage Group recorded that the hoard had been buried in a pit dug down the inside of the wall of a Roman circular or possibly polygonal building. Only about half the building survived severe plough damage. The date of the building is suggested as very early, and subject to repair. A large pit underlay the building, with another small pit cut into the top which contained an AOC Beaker. No temenos ditch was recorded during the geophysical survey, but further excavation will target a ditch recorded in the magnetic survey. Investigation ongoing.
3 A detailed catalogue of the coin hoard has been produced. The coinage spans Republican and Imperial Rome, with coins from 194/190 BC to AD 64; analogy with other denarius hoards indicates that the coins form a fairly typical cross-section of material in circulation at the time of deposition. It was originally postulated that the presence within the hoard of early Neronian coinage indicated that the hoard might have been deposited in response to, and at some stage during, the Boudican rebellion of AD 60. However, although this theory has now been overturned, the cut-off date of the hoard of AD63/64 is of interest, given that that year signifies Nero’s reduction of the metal content of the denarius to 92% silver. It is possible that the hoard represents a response to the arrival of such debased currency, but this is difficult to substantiate.

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