Monday, 31 March 2008

Pre-Roman gold staters found outside Saxilby, Peterborough

From This is Lincolnshire.

Two metal detector enthusiasts are helping to rewrite history after their latest find in a field near Lincoln.

Geoffrey Rippon and Paul Virr literally struck gold while carrying out routine searches in a field near their village of Saxilby.

They discovered four pre-Christian gold coins and a gold pellet which are now being counted as evidence of Roman influence on British culture much earlier than previously thought.

The hoard, found in October last year, has been dated to 50BC - almost 100 years prior to the date of the official Roman invasion of 43AD.

They are 'staters' - the first ever type of coins used in Britain - and betray Mediterranean influences including an abstract horse image on the reverse.

Now, staff from both Lincoln's The Collection museum and the British Museum in London are hoping to purchase the hoard, which was declared 'treasure trove' at an inquest held on March 27.

Mr Virr (59), a gas fitter from Saxilby, said: "Geoff made the first discovery and a week later Geoff found a gold pellet and I found a gold coin.

"The third time we found the rest between us."

Mr Rippon (62), who is semi-retired and also lives in Saxilby, said: "I hope this demonstrates that people with metal detectors are honest people."

The hoard will go before a Valuation Committee.

Full story here.

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