Saturday 6 July 2013

Roman Coin Hoard Discovered near Beauly

A Roman coin hoard has been found with a metal detector at the site of a major Highland music festival, but this was not by a collector artefact hunting. As an added bonus, this is the first Roman coin hoard to be discovered in the Beauly area, well north of the Roman limes. The find was made by Eric Soane using a metal detector during a clean up of discarded tent pegs after last year's Belladrum Highland music festival. Festival promoter Joe Gibbs said: "Left-behind tent pegs can be dangerous to stock and can damage machinery. We like to get rid of as many as possible. But it was an unexpected bonus to find the coins". Mr Soames found just a few denarii and archaeologists were called in (Dr Fraser Hunter) to do a proper investigation of the findspot and in total 36 coins were discovered:
Some of the coins date from the mid-Second Century. They will be on permanent display at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from 16 July.
And this is what the Treasure Act should be for, for rewarding accidental finders who report their finds promptly and correctly, leading to a proper archaeological observation and recovery of any information the findspot may contain.  The legislation should not be encouraging more and more people to buy metal detectors, target likely findspots in order to enrich themselves at the public expense, selling back to the people what already belongs to them, the heritage of their past. That is not protecting the archaeological record, it is encouraging its shortsighted plundering and producing a massive backlog in proper analysis, reporting and publication of such finds for which there are currently no funds to shift.

BBC, 'Roman coin hoard found at Belladrum festival site', 5th July 2013. 

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