From the Sunday Mercury:
WHEN metal detectorist Terry Herbert discovered the Staffordshire Hoard, it was described as a once in a lifetime find.
But now a fellow treasure hunter may also have struck gold – after discovering a ‘huge haul’ of Roman coins near the historic Bredon Hill in Worcestershire.
Details of the find remained hush-hush last night and the identity of the lucky new metal detectorist has not been revealed.
But it is understood Worcestershire County Council and the county coroner have been informed because of the potential archaeological significance.
The Bredon treasure is already being compared with the Staffordshire Hoard, the country’s biggest ever find of Anglo Saxon gold.
It netted lucky Terry and local farmer Fred Johnson a whopping £1.6 million each after being unearthed in a muddy field at Hammerwich, near Brownhills.
One metal detectorist told the Sunday Mercury: ‘‘Very few people know about this find at Bredon Hill, even in the metal detecting community.
‘‘But the rumours are that this could be a really huge haul of Roman coins and there could be an official announcement about it soon.’’
Archaeology experts are excited by the prospect of a major new discovery at Bredon Hill, once the site of an Iron Age fort.
Nearby Worcester is a hotspot for Roman artefacts and evidence of settlements from the period has been discovered in villages scattered around the area.
Last night Dr Roger White, an expert in Roman archaeology from the University of Birmingham, described the possibility of a new find in Bredon as “exciting”.
“As well as potentially valuable pieces, these coins are historic documents, and they can tell a story on their own,” he said.
“Bredon Hill is not a major hub of Roman activity, but it does sit between the settled areas of two tribes, while Worcester has a Roman foundation, and was a major focus of iron production.
“Hoards like this potential one in Bredon are always intriguing and the whole buried treasure thing captures the imagination.
‘‘And from an historical point of view, it is exciting. This could give us enormous amounts of information.”
Dr White said there could be a wide variety of reasons why the coins were buried at Bredon Hill.
“Sometimes large burials of coins are evidence of a religious ritual, an offering to the gods,” he explained.
“In other cases, someone who was under threat could have buried them because they wanted to hide their wealth.
“Another regular occurrence was coins being recalled, so they could be melted down to produce more currency. When that happened, Romans would head into the garden, and bury their money to keep it safe for the future.
“It will be fascinating to find out what is there in terms of coins, but also why, and how, it came to be buried there.
“Every hoard is different, and the bigger the number of coins, the more we can find out about the history of the area.”
A spokeswoman for Worcestershire County Council refused to comment, but it is understood that the coin find has been reported to the coroner.
Metal detectorists have been hunting for the next big Midland find since the Staffordshire Hoard was uncovered in 2009.
The treasure, which included hundreds of bejewelled battlefield items, added up to 5kg of the purest gold and 2.5kg of silver.
The Telegraph coverage — which is virtually identical — includes a photo of some of the objects from the Staffordshire Hoard … a bit misleading, even with the caption. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this one in the next week. I’ll be adding links below …