Crisis or continuity. Hoarding in Iron Age and Roman Britain with special reference to the 3rd century AD

3rd century AD coin hoard from the York area, 2008 T723. © Trustees of the British Museum.

The researchers

At the British Museum: Dr Roger Bland (Principal Investigator), Dr Sam Moorhead (Principal Investigator) and Dr Eleanor Ghey (Research Associate).

At the University of Leicester: Professor Colin Haselgrove (Co-Investigator), Professor David Mattingly (Co-Investigator), Dr Jeremy Taylor (Co-Investigator), Dr Adrian Chadwick (Research Associate) and Dr Adam Rogers (Research Associate).

PhD researchers: Rachael Sycamore and Rachel Wilkinson.  


The project

This Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research project is a joint project between the British Museum and the University of Leicester, which seeks to understand why so many hoards were buried in Britain during the Iron Age and Roman periods. The project is analysing the contents, landscape settings and contextual associations of British Iron Age and Roman coin hoards, with a particular emphasis on Roman 3rd-century AD hoards, in order to not only understand the reasons for their deposition, but also what they can tell us about the Iron Age and Romano-British periods.

Iron Age coin hoard found south of Winslow, Buckinghamshire, 2008 T570. Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, BUC-6877F8.The project will map the regional distribution of British Iron Age and Roman hoards by date, type and contents, and will assess any hoard containers and associated finds, particularly pottery and metal vessels, and other metal objects. A select number of hoard find spots will be physically visited to further investigate their landscape context, and 10-12 of these sites will be subjected to high-resolution geophysical and/or topographic survey.

A Geographic Information System (GIS) and associated comprehensive database will aid investigation. Research will also draw upon published archaeological books and articles, but also the growing body of unpublished ‘grey literature’ reports produced as a result of developer-funded archaeological investigations, and excavations carried out by Portable Antiquities Scheme staff and other archaeologists, following metal detector and chance finds.

Researchers will set the study in a wider context by asking why hoards were deposited at particular locations, through a critical review of explanations and analyses of the depositional practices and social, economic, political and religious factors in Roman Britain.

What can coin hoards tell us about Iron Age and Roman Britain?

Project reports and publications

Project blogs

Hoarding conference 11th-12th March 2016 - Crisis or continuity? Hoarding and Deposition in Iron Age and Roman Britain, and Beyond


British Museum logo. University of Leicester logo AHRC logo.

 If you would like further details of the project, please contact Dr Adrian M Chadwick

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