Thousands of ancient coins discovered in English field

  • 2 January 2015
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More than 5,000 ancient coins were found in a Buckinghamshire field

Metal detector fans in Buckinghamshire, England, have uncovered one of biggest collections of ancient coins ever found in Britain.

Image copyright Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club
Image caption The 11th Century coins had been left in a "sealed" lead container

Paul Coleman from the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club discovered more than 5,000 coins buried inside a lead bucket more than half a metre under a field near Aylesbury.

The trove contains coins dating back nearly 1,000 years ago - the late Anglo Saxon, early Norman period.

Image copyright Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club
Image caption The heads of kings Ethelred the Unready and Canute can be seen on the coins

A spokesman for the national club said those on the dig had "agreed this was the most exciting day of their detecting lives".

The coins will now be taken to the British Museum in London, where an expert must decide whether this is actual "treasure".

A museum could then buy them with the money raised being split between the landowner and the finder.

The largest British collection of Anglo Saxon treasure was found in a field near Lichfield in Staffordshire in July 2009.

The 7th Century hoard of 1,600 items including helmet parts and crosses was valued at more than £3 million.

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Archive: Want to get involved in metal-detecting?

Anglo Saxons

  • Anglo-Saxon refers to settlers from the German regions of Angeln and Saxony who began attacking Roman Britain in AD410
  • The invaders were generally called "Saxons" by their neighbours.
  • By AD500, many had settled in the east of England
  • The Anglo-Saxons had their own religious beliefs, but the arrival of Saint Augustine in AD597 converted most of the country to Christianity
  • The Anglo-Saxon period lasted about 600 years and ended in 1066 with the Norman Conquest

Source: BBC History