Monday, January 19, 2009

There's gold in them thar broken pots

I like archaeology. Primarily because I have a good friend who is an archaeologist (hi Gail), and through the excellent "Time Team" program.

Granted, compared with Ediacaran and early Cambrian palaeontology, archaeology is like spashing around in the shallows, but they dig stuff up, so that's OK.

There is news of a big find of late iron age gold coins in a field near Wickham Market, Suffolk, UK, dating from around 2050 BP to 1995 BP. The find consists of 824 gold staters, worth, at the time, the equivalent of around 0.5-1 million pounds. That's a lot of anyone's money! (though, sadly for the finder, they are not worth that now.)

The find, contained in a broken pot, was uncovered in a field by someone using a metal detector. Interestingly, the find was not associated with any major structures, but is though to indicate that this must have been an important economic area during the period.

The record for a find of gold staters was in 1849, when a farm worker found between 800 and 2,000 coins in a field near Milton Keynes.

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