Gold Coin Hoard Unearthed: Ancient Iron Age Treasure Discovered Inside Cattle Bones

The exhibition at Lynn Museum in King’s Lynn features some of the best treasure finds unearthed in north-west Norfolk.


Image caption, The Fincham Coin Hoard of silver sceattas date back to around 710-750 AD

Norfolk is one of the UK’s most fruitful areas for hoards, with many artefacts on show for the first time.

“The finds offer a sweep of history,” said curator Oliver Bone.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity to bring together some spectacular groups of archaeological discoveries from our part of Norfolk.”

He said the hoards – a store of money or high value objects – dated from the Bronze Age (2,300BC-800BC) through to the time of the English Civil War in (1642-51AD).

The museum said one of its “star exhibits” was the Sedgeford Hoard – a collection of 32 gold coins uncovered in 2003 at Sedgeford during an archaeological dig.

Twenty of the precious coins were intriguingly lodged inside a cow bone, which gave up its bounty after being X-rayed.

It is not known if they were put in the bone as an offering to the gods, or simply hidden in the bone and buried to be retrieved later on.

Among the pieces to beseen by the public for the first time will be Bronze Age artefacts, discovered at the beach at Holme-next-the-Sea near to the Seahenge wooden monuments.


Image caption, The Fincham Coin Hoard of silver sceattas date back to around 710-750 AD

The earliest form of pennies – called sceattas and made about 1,300 years ago in what is now The Netherlands – will also go on display as part of the Fincham Coin Hoard.

The silver coins were in good condition, pointing to the suggestion that they were not circulating for long between 710-750AD before they were buried.

The Dersingham Hoard, a large collection of silver shillings found in a silver cup, and believed to have been buried in 1643 when King’s Lynn was under siege during the civil war is also included in the exhibits – revealing that local people feared their possessions could be looted by soldiers.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities, said she was “thrilled” the hoards were able to be put on display.

“It will be a fascinating exhibition that will allow the local community to view and learn about these objects, many of which have never been displayed to the public before,” she said.

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