The Dereham (Norfolk) Hoard, 2004-7

The Dereham (Norfolk) Hoard, 2004-7

The Dereham (Norfolk) Hoard was discovered by metal detectorists Pat Buckley and his wife Sally (pictured above, inset) on a field of recently-ploughed arable land outside the town of the same name. Between December 2004 and January 2007 a total of 1,049 Roman silver coins were recovered, making it the largest hoard of its kind ever found in Norfolk.

On their first day searching the field in December 2004 the Buckleys found approximately 50 coins within a very small area. Mindful of the possibility of this being part of a much larger hoard, they alerted the authorities at Norfolk Landscape Archaeology and the following day Dr Andrew Rogerson of the unit's Identification and Recording Service, accompanied by his colleague Erica Darch, visited the find-spot. At the place where Mr Buckley's detector "went into overdrive" a square metre was cordoned off and the remnants of the base of a Romano-British greyware pottery vessel and over 800 coins were recovered. Some of the coins were fused, suggesting that they had been packed tightly together over a long period of time. Later visits to the site in 2005, and between February 2006 and January 2007, resulted in the recovery of a further 161 coins.

Contents of the Hoard

Mark Antony 12
Lucius Verus 1
Elagabalus 164
Vitellius 1
Commodus 14
Julia Paula 13
Vespasian 7
Crispina 1
Aquilia Severa 2
Domitian 1
Didius Julianus 1
Julia Soaemias 12
Trajan 1
Septimius Severus 154
Julia Maesa 50
Hadrian 5 Julia Domna 49
Severus Alexander 309
Antoninus Pius 12
Caracalla 107
Orbiana 2
Faustina I 6
Plautilla 6
Julia Mamaea 43
Marcus Aurelius 10
Geta 25
Maximinus I 24 F
austina II 4
Macrinus 4
Gordian Ill 9

The coins form a typical savings hoard of the mid-3rd century, ranging from a dozen detrited legionary denarii of Mark Antony to the latest coins, radiates and a denarius of Gordian Ill datable to 240. The nature of the coins, which still retained some muddy deposits as well as accretions caused by chemical reaction with the surrounding soil, rendered the precise identification of a small number of pieces impossible. The overwhelming majority, however, are attributable and the hoard in its entirety is offered in the following 76 lots.