Today sees the launch of Lost Change, an innovative and experimental application that allows coins found within England and Wales and recorded through the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), to be visualised on an interactive, dual-mapping interface. This tool enables people to interrogate a huge dataset (over 300,000 coin records can be manipulated) and discover links between coins’ place of origin (the issuing mint or a more vague attribution if this location is uncertain) and where they were discovered and then subsequently reported to the PAS Finds Liaison Officers.
The figures are astonishing. A third of all portable antiquities discovered in the whole country in any one year are found in just one county: Norfolk. “And 10% of those are treasure cases. It’s a staggering figure,” says Dr Tim Pestell, Curator of Archaeology of Norwich Castle Museum.
“Annually we record more than 20,000 finds in Norfolk. In 2012 there were 123 treasure cases in the county – a new British record – and last year 106.”
It’s a glowing testament not only to our amazing heritage but also to the warm working relationship which has existed for many years between the experts at Norfolk’s Historic Environment Service, Norfolk Museums Service and local metal detector users.
A hobby archaeologist with a metal detector has discovered a trove of gold and silver in a German forest dating back to late Roman times, fuelling speculation that it could be the legendary Nibelung treasure which inspired composer Richard Wagner’s operatic “Ring Cycle”.
The haul from the western state of Rhineland Palatinate, which is worth about €1m, includes silver bowls, brooches and other jewellery from ceremonial robes, as well as small statues that would have adorned a grand chair, archaeologists say.
A metal detector enthusiast who has made more than 500 significant archaeological finds has been praised by the British Museum.
Tom Redmayne, from North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, has helped build a picture of the county with his finds.
British Museum data shows that Lincolnshire was one of the top three areas of the country for Portable Antiquities Scheme finds in 2012.
In its annual PAS report, the British Museum said: “His [Tom Redmayne’s] finds have been of a consistently high standard, and the information now produced is of great benefit to understanding the archaeological landscape of the Lincolnshire marsh region.
FOR aspiring treasure hunters reluctant to brave the elements to find their bounty, it is proof that patience and persistence will reveal a silver lining.
Two men using metal detectors have uncovered what is believed to be Scotland’s largest ever haul of medieval silver coins after bracing atrocious gale-force weather.
Derek McLennan and Gus Paterson spent five hours in heavy rain and biting winds during their search near Kirkcudbright, and had been on the verge of calling it quits.
However, after “stumbling across” a few silver coins, they decided to press on with their hunt and eventually unearthed more than 300. The coins, which date from around 1249 to 1325, bear the profiles of monarchs including Alexander III of Scotland and John Balliol, who ruled from 1292 to 1296, as well as Edward I, Edward II and Edward III.
The find has now been declared to Scotland’s Treasure Trove, the body which ensures significant objects from the nation’s past are preserved in museums for public benefit.