After keeping the story under wraps for years for academic purposes, archaeologists in England finally revealed an impressive numismatic discovery to the public last week.
It all began with a pair of amateur metal detectorists who came across some silver coins in 2015.
2,000 Years Old
Researchers ensured the find would not be reported on at the time, which allowed them to fully investigate the surrounding area for more artifacts without any outside interference or unwanted scrutiny.
Photo: Kanton Aargau via Time
A group of 18 silver coins were found at an undisclosed location in Yorkshire back in 2015. Wisely, the two men with metal detectors promptly reported the discovery to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. All of the coins date to the rule of the emperor Vespasian, who reigned for ten years during the latter half of the first century C.E.
In the time since the initial find, the site in Yorkshire has been combed over by archaeological teams. (Much of the funding for the project came from a private initiative rather than any university or other public institution.) The researchers subsequently uncovered more Roman silver coins and a great deal of pottery.
Although much of the pottery was broken into shards, these ancient wares were unlike anything that archaeologists familiar with the area and time period had ever encountered in Britain. The coins and artifacts were also about two centuries older than the vast majority of Romano-British treasure, adding to their rarity.
This surprising evidence suggests that the site was probably a high-status Roman settlement.
After dutifully keeping the news in confidence, the story was finally reported in the U.K. last week by The Telegraph.
In keeping with the country's laws about finding treasure, the local coroner's office will make the final determination of who is entitled to half of the value of the find. The other half goes to the property owner—in many of these cases, this means the state.
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