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Author Topic: Rare 1,600-year-old Roman grave containing a 'fancy' lead coffin discovered  (Read 547 times)
Neil
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« on: January 11, 2018, 02:37:19 PM »

 By Phoebe Weston Published: 16:29, 21 December 2017  


A Roman grave containing a lead coffin and more than 250 Roman coins has been discovered in a field.

The artefacts - which are believed to date to around 400 AD - were found near Ilminster, Somerset, by a member of the Detecting for Veterans group. There are about 200 similar lead coffins finds in the country but only six have previously been discovered in Somerset

There were 37 reported cases of treasure found in Somerset in 2016, the largest for five years.

The county is in the top 10 local authority areas for treasure according to official figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Norfolk topped the list with 130 discoveries in 2016, a figure put down to how rural the area is.

Treasure is easier to find in areas with a lot of farming, as soil gets turned by ploughs which brings new finds to the surface.
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The site will be subject to further archaeological investigations in the new year and the coins are currently with the British Museum for cleaning and valuation.

Laura Burnett, the Somerset finds liaison officer, said lead was a 'fancy and expensive' way of being buried in Roman times.

'They're probably using locally produced lead from the Mendips - so it might have been a bit cheaper here than in other parts of the county - but it's an expensive thing to be buried in.'

Kevin Minto, from Detecting for Veterans - a group for ex-services personnel - initially discovered the coins. He then found the grave when he returned to the site with the county archaeologist, Bob Croft.

Mr Minto said he originally found two coins and then a number of others close by.'That was when I realised we had a hoard,' he said.'Obviously it's an important find, the archaeologists are chuffed to nuts and they'll do whatever they have to,' he added.


Laura Burnett, the Somerset finds liaison officer, said a lead coffin (pictured) was a 'fancy and expensive' way of being buried in Roman times

The group returned a few days later with the county archaeologist and discovered a rare lead lined coffin on the same site.

'This is a very special site, a rare discovery of lead coffins,' Mr Croft said.

'Lead ones that we know go from Shepton Mallet to Wiveliscombe, and this central part of Somerset - so this one is an unusual one.'

The site will be subject to further archaeological investigations in the new year and the coins (pictured) are currently with the British Museum for cleaning and valuation

The artefacts were found near Ilminster, Somerset. There were 37 reported cases of treasure found in Somerset in 2016, the largest for five years

There were 37 reported cases of treasure found in Somerset in 2016, the largest for five years.

The county is in the top 10 local authority areas for treasure according to official figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Norfolk topped the list with 130 discoveries in 2016, a figure put down to how rural the area is.

Treasure is easier to find in areas with a lot of farming, as soil gets turned by ploughs which brings new finds to the surface.



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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 09:17:06 PM »

Interesting span of coins - from late billon antoninus to the large follis / nummus of the Diocletian reforms.
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Val Beechey
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 10:52:08 PM »

What a find. For most finding the coins would have been fantastic but then to find the coffin, well thatís in a league of its own.
Thanks for posting Neil.
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 12:33:27 AM »

Many thanks for a great posting...its post's like this that will continue to keep the forum active....so come on all of you..keep all your contributions forthcoming for the coming year.
Good hunting...👍
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