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Archeology All aspects of archeology, including moral, ethical, and legal considerations.

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Old Aug 22, 2010, 11:46 AM   #16
Mauseus
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Hi,

As noted in my previous post the coins of Carausius are not evenly distributed in the pot even though they are the latest coins. I have now got a copy of the published rough stratigraphy from the journal British Archeology (Sept/ Oct edition).

Taking the ten layers the number of Carausius coins is distributed as follows (from top to bottom):

11
32
1
1
16
31
652
10
8
1

...and, as noted previously, the early denarii (or silver laureates) were in the upper layers.

regrds,

Mauseus
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 06:48 AM   #17
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The hoard has now been valued. Details can be found here:

http://finds.org.uk/blogs/fromehoard/

The Frome Hoard
finds.org.uk
Today, the value of the Frome Hoard has been announced at £320,250. Somerset County Council Heritage Service now has until 1 February 2011 to raise the funds in order to keep this important treasure on public display in the county in which it was discovered. The rare find, made up of 52,503 Roman co...

and a news report here:

Roman coin hoard valued at £320,250 | Culture | The Guardian
www.guardian.co.uk
Unique hoard of 52,503 Roman coins was found last April stuffed into a giant pot bellied jar, buried in a field near Frome.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 07:18 AM   #18
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Do I understand correctly that the Somerset museum is asking us to give them money so they can aquire the hoard and prevent if being allowed to pass into the market where it could be shared with collectors like us? Certainly the coins include things that belong in the British Museum and things that need to be studied before disbursal but I'm not understanding the need for the retention of the other 50,000 duplicates so they can display it as a potful or squirrel it away in some museum basement for all time. It is too bad that the call for funds for the conservation effort has to be lumped with what appears to be an anti-collector appeal. Obviously someone will want to point out what I am missing here.

I note the mention that this is the largest hoard ever found in a single container. Is that claim worldwide or just for the UK?
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 07:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I note the mention that this is the largest hoard ever found in a single container. Is that claim worldwide or just for the UK?
The claim relates to the UK and only made, I suspect, to make it the "largest hoard". Cunetio was slightly bigger but in a couple of pots.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 08:28 AM   #20
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First of all, I am very much surprised at this news of such low (in my opinion, of course) estimation. Maybe it was done deliberately so the museum has a chance to acquire this hoard at the discount price? Hmm.

Secondly, refering to Doug's question, I want to say that personally I have a conflicting opinion about the whole museum vs. collectors issue. That is why, by the way, I admire the British civilized approach to all the private archeological finds that allows them to be registered and not disappear without a trace.

In general, no doubt that collectors MUST have access to coin hoards and be able to buy them. It is what we collectors want and that is the way it is going to be whether the museums like it or not.

At the same time as cheap as all these coins might be individually, being together in a hoard gives them extraordinary power. It is an indispensable tool to study a particular historical period, especially its economy, and also the coinage of the period itself (and die patterns in particular).

And this hoard being the largest in British history (and belonging to a poorly recorded period at that), in its synergy is a national treasure of the people of Britain; it is a historical document in its own right of pricelss value. Well, maybe not pricelss but at least higher than 300 hundred thousand, in my humble opinion.

But it should it just disappear in the basements and the vaults of the museum (what is what likely to happen here as usual if the museum gets it), what's the point? If it belongs to a public museum the public must have access to view it and study it. Otherwise, museum people, forget about it.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 08:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavus View Post
First of all, I am very much surprised at this news of such low (in my opinion, of course) estimation. Maybe it was done deliberately so the museum has a chance to acquire this hoard at the discount price? Hmm.
You have to bear in mind that although some of these coins are very rare and sought after, the majority are very common and worth very little. For example, over 17,000 coins of the Tetricii - how much are they worth? The valuation committee is largely made up of independent people and has a good track record of providing fair valuations.
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Last edited by leetoone : Oct 18, 2010 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Additional information.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 08:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leetoone View Post
You have to bear in mind that although some of these coins are very rare and sought after, the majority are very common and worth very little.
Just six pounds as a median price per piece, making a lot of them even cheaper? That's it? Even being from such a famous hoard doesn't give them some pedigree, some additional value? And couldn't some of the coins bring a hefty price by themselves?
I'm just surprised.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 09:08 AM   #23
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And also I thought that as an intact hoard it would be worth more than just a simple sum of its individual coins' value.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 09:08 AM   #24
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I've bought hoard coins of the Gallic Empire from £3 a piece in the past. That amount of coins coming onto the market at once tends to drive down prices and makes them very difficult to move on at all commercially. I know of a Gallic Empire hoard of around 1,000 coins that sold for less than £1,000 in open auction a few years back.

Having said that, I'm sure there would be a lot of interest in the Carausian coins.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 09:21 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leetoone View Post
I know of a Gallic Empire hoard of around 1,000 coins that sold for less than £1,000 in open auction a few years back.
Somebody was very lucky.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 11:16 AM   #26
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I see two separate questions here. The value of so many ordinary coins would not be high except as a study group. The images show a variation in coin quality. Perhaps 50% of the value of the hoard would be in a handful of the coins (certainly including the five silvers). Certainly the group needs to be recorded fully so it would be possible to do a study in the future if someone can fund even that. Does the UK law require the finder to be paid off so instantly that there is not even time to record the items?

The hoard was publicised heavily based on the Carausius connection even though his coins included were few compared to other rulers. The group would have been worth millions had it been completely high grade Carausius silver but even ordinary, lower grade Carausius billon are not worth large sums. Low grade Gallic ordinaries are as cheap as Roman coins get. We are in no good position to comment on the value of so many unseen coins but have to trust the professionalism of the people who have seen the big picture. It is a very interesting question if a coin worth one price on the oridnary market would be worth more because it had been part of this find and whether that factor was included in the evaluation. Should it have been? I was hoping that there would be another Domitian II under one of the lumps of crust but the evaluation suggests that we got to see the good stuff in the first round of photos.

The second question is whether the best interest of learning from the hoard is served by it being kept together in a regional museum as opposed to providing source material and exhibit material for every museum (or person?) in the UK (or the rest of the world?) willing to dedicate resources to making the most of the material. Perhaps this one museum would end up selling off coins in its gift shop; perhaps they would trade with other institutions and end up spreading the informational value even if they are allowed to buy the whole. Perhaps they would decide to send the Roman coins back to Italy in a move of political correctness. Do we know? The hoard belongs to the finder, the people of the UK and the rest of the world (in that order). I trust the UK laws on such things to be capable of making the right thing happen for the greatest good of all. We should all be glad the pot was found in a country with such enlightened laws. Otherwise the hoard might already have been melted for scrap.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 11:23 AM   #27
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Doug

This is an extract from the Treasure code of Practise:

"It is expected that museums that acquire finds of treasure will
generally wish to place them on exhibition. However, where finds of
treasure are not on exhibition finders and any other interested
members of the public will have access to them on request, in
accordance with Resource’s registration guidelines.Where treasure has
been acquired with external financial help, this should be
acknowledged appropriately, with the consent of those concerned, for
example in museum labelling and publications."

I think that answers one of your questions.

Lee
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 11:27 AM   #28
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And this, from the same source, another:

"They should report within three months or within a period of
time that will allow the target times set down in paragraph 87 to be met.
However, in exceptional cases, e.g. large hoards of coins, it may be
necessary to exceed this period."


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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:48 PM   #29
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"e.g. large hoards of coins, it may be necessary to exceed this period."

If I were the finder, I would undoubtedly be anxious for the payoff but this would seem to be a case covered by the above line. What would be a reasonable time for proper documentation (photography, weighing etc.) and study as a unit when the unit is over 50,000 coins? I might say ten years. During that time, loan exhibitions could be circulated to interested venues but the material would be available intact for studies by academics willing and resourced to do what needed to be done. There is nothing like an Abu Simbel grade deadline to speed up those otherwise inclined to procrastination.
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 04:11 AM   #30
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by leetoone View Post
I've bought hoard coins of the Gallic Empire from £3 a piece in the past. That amount of coins coming onto the market at once tends to drive down prices and makes them very difficult to move on at all commercially. I know of a Gallic Empire hoard of around 1,000 coins that sold for less than £1,000 in open auction a few years back.
Indeed, the Wherstead hoard that I purchased from the finder with the jugate Tetricus I with Tetricus II coin in it was just over 1,200 coins and cost me in the order of £650 on Ebay.


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