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Wickham Market Gold Hoard to be Cleaned-up by Volunteers

October 20, 2011 – In 2008 a metal detectorist found a hoard composed of 840 gold coins in a pot buried in a field nearby Suffolk. The coins were struck by the Iceni, a tribe whose heartlands were around Cambridge and Norfolk, between 40 BC and 15 AD. Some years later the famous queen Boudicca was to lead this tribe against the Romans. Why the coins were buried, nobody knows till now. But the work has just begun.

Ipswich museum has raised GBP 300,000 to assure that the hoard remains where it has been found. It is the first national treasure to stay in Suffolk. Previous findings of similar importance like the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo or the silver Roman dinner service discovered at Mildenhall are now in London.

Iceni coins. But while these are at the Cabinet des Medailles at Paris, the Whickham Market Hoard is to remain in the Iceni heartlands. Source: PHGCOM / Wikipedia.Iceni coins. But while these are at the Cabinet des Medailles at Paris, the Whickham Market Hoard is to remain in the Iceni heartlands. Source: PHGCOM / Wikipedia.

Iceni coins. But while these are at the Cabinet des Medailles at Paris, the Whickham Market Hoard is to remain in the Iceni heartlands. Source: PHGCOM / Wikipedia.

Because the coins of the Iceni are closely linked to Ipswich, the museum offered 50 places to people who wanted to give a hand in cleaning the coins. Emma Hogarth, conservation officer, explains the reasons: “Normally, if we were cleaning a Roman coin, we would clean each individual one under a microscope using scalpels and pins, but as these are in such good condition we don’t have to do that. If they’re pure gold, they don’t decay, but as there is some copper in these ones, we do have a little bit of corrosion. It’s certainly time-consuming which is why we’re delighted to have the public get involved in the work we’ve got to do.”

The vacancies are staffed and the work can begin. Later on, in exchange for a Chinese exhibition in Colchester, the Iceni coins could go on display to China in 2013. But for the time being they are cleaned and studied.

Read the whole article at BBC News.

There you will also find links to further reports on the hoard find.
To visit the site of Colchester and Ipswich Museum, please click here.

We reported twice on important Iceni coins recently found

respectively auctioned.

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