Treasure Finds and Stories
Two E-TRACS = A Shared Hoard
A few weeks ago myself and my friend Alun, both E-TRAC users, met up for a few hours out. Initially we were going for a dig on Alun's field. When we arrived we were a bit disappointed to see the farmer lime spreading. Not fancying a faceful of dust we discussed a plan B, as we were already kitted up I suggested we go and have a go on one of my fields about 20 minutes away. I hadn't tried this particular field though the adjacent ones had produced a few Georgian coppers and it did have a footpath running across it.
Walking from the car to the site through a bit of woodland we started detecting, the usual shottys and small calibre shell cases turned up and the odd predecimal copper not too bad so far as at least we were getting finds.
We finally got out of the wood onto the field, my first signal was another shotty a couple of buttons and assorted scrap, Alun had about the same. After about 20 minutes I get a scratchy though dig me signal and as I took the first clod out , there looking up at me was a dull grey disc after a gentle brush off I saw I had a roman denari. ROMAN I shouted to Alun and after I got his attention he sprinted across the field to look at it.. After a good pat on the back and well done we continued searching. I decided to skirt the edge of the wood whilst Al made for the centre of the field. Five minutes later I hear a great shout of joy and Alun's punching the air, he's got a silver as well, followed shortly by another 'whoop' as he found a second. We then decided to concentrated searching the centre of the field and by the end of the session Al found another 2 and a couple of broken pieces whilst I had another one.
I went back the next day and was able to find 3 more.
I phoned the farmer the next day and arranged to show him what we had found. I also explained that the coins had to be reported as they would be classed as potential treasure then explained the procedure. I then asked him about what he done to the field in the recent past . He told me a hedgerow that divided the field in 2 had been bulldozed out in the 1970's. This was a bit of information that helped solve the question where could the hoard have been deposited. He also told me that the field used to have a bump in it . So it looks like the coins were hidden somewhere close to the hedgeline and the removal of it had bought the coins to the surface.
I find that talking to farmers can give a lot of useful info, as it is their land and know more about it than any map can show. The broken ones are most likely been damaged by a grass topper rather than by ploughing. The hoard was most likely hidden sometime in the early 2nd century as the earliest one is a Mark Anthony and the latest a Hadrian. The majority of them are Vespasian's.
At the moment there is a lot of long nettles and bracken on the field, but we will be back for another good search in the Winter to see if any more are waiting to be found. We both were using E-TRACs and I'm sure that was a major factor to our success.