In February 2017, two brothers-in-law discovered gold and silver
buried treasure in a field north of Lincoln, the county city of
The area was initially an Iron Age settlement comprising wooden
dwellings and known by the Celts as Lindon.
Following the Roman conquest of Britain in A.D. 48, the invaders
built a legionary fortress here that was at the northern end of the
Fosse Way, the Roman road that stretched 182 miles from Ilchester in
the southwest to what the conquerors Latinized to Lindum.
U.S. Mint welcomes a fourth metal to the
American Eagle bullion program.
Also in this week’s print issue of Coin World, we teach our readers
about what a “weak-fatty” gold coin is and why you don’t want one in
When the legion initially based here transferred to York in A.D.
71, the fortress became a home for army veterans. It was renamed
Lindum Colonia, which after the Viking raid beginning at the end of
the eighth century was shortened to Lincoln.
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Today it has a
Norman castle and a magnificent cathedral that had its foundations
laid in the late 11th century. From 1311 to 1549, before its 525-foot
tower collapsed, Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in Europe.
Lincoln is 141 miles (227 kilometers) north of London.
Good area for seekers
The finders were the treasure hunting team of Sean Scargill and Hugh
Jenkins. They have been detecting in and around Lincolnshire for four
years. Sean told me that they are very fortunate to have permissions
on land within Lincolnshire known for yielding Roman material and have
had good “Roman” find success as a result.
Sean continued with an account of the day that they found the late
Iron Age hoard. “We were detecting on a long-standing permission of
ours,” he told Coin World. “It is in an area that we have previously
searched many times over the last three to four years. The site is
vast and it is believed to have periodic occupation from the late Iron
Age through to today. This has been reflected in the many Roman and
medieval artefacts that we have discovered there.”
He continued: “About a couple of hours into what was turning out to
be a very sunny February day, Hugh suggested we move to an area of
pasture that we had not detected for a while. This was a short walk
from where we were, out into the sunshine, rather than the shade of
the wood. This was a very easy decision as the midday sunshine had
started to do its work warming an otherwise chilly morning. Initially
the move to this area resulted in Hugh finding a Roman brooch, a few
modern coins and a whole lot of lead for me. This was starting to get
more than a little frustrating. We often find lead spindle whorls ...
and pot mends in this area, but today was quickly turning into a
‘random fragments of lead’ day for me. With this in mind, I remarked
that I was going to try an area at the other end of the field, about
200 yards from our current location and that I would detect on the way there.’
A few steps away
One could detect the excitement mount in Sean’s voice as he
continued. “Having taken no more than a few steps in that direction, I
got a deep, faint but very interesting signal. Although it was faint,
it was in good range and was also jumping around a bit. I was
confident that the target was probably quite deep so I initially made
an opening spade hole of about seven to eight inches. After sweeping
the removed turf with the detector, to rule it out, I then swept the
hole again, where I got a much stronger and more stable signal. I then
inserted the detector’s pinpointer to the bottom of the hole and all
round the sides, to try to gain a precise location of the target. It
revealed absolutely nothing. Experience told me that I needed to dig
deeper, as I have found that very wet ground helps with the depths
that my detector is able to reach.’”
“On digging down another three to four inches or so, I hit upon a
reasonable sized flat stone and the pin pointer was now picking up a
signal beneath it. At this depth, the soil was becoming a fine sandy
fill, which made freeing the stone relatively straight-forward. On
lifting and turning the stone over, I noticed a small coin attached to
its underside and at the same time I noticed what looked like a few
others sat at the bottom of the hole. On initial examination of the
loose coin, although covered in damp sandy soil, I could see it was
small and silver and had what looked like a horse on one side and a
wreath on the other. As I could see about another five coins in the
damp, sandy soil at the bottom of the hole, the excitement was
building about potentially uncovering a small coin spill. At that
point, there was absolutely no way of knowing that there were many
gold and silver coins within the next two to three inches of soil.”
Find totals 282 coins
The final count of the excavated coins was 282, comprising 40 gold
staters, 231 silver units and 11 half-units, all of which are
North-Eastern types attributed to the Corieltavi tribe.