Category Archives: WORLD

Hoard of Roman Silver Coins found buried in Welsh field

Hoard of Roman Silver Coins found buried in Welsh field

Two treasure finds including a coin hoard of Roman date and a medieval silver brooch were declared treasure on 28 June 2022 by the Assistant Coroner for North Wales (East & Central) Katie Sutherland.

A Roman silver coin hoard was discovered by Wayne Jones while metal detecting on a pasture field in Halkyn Community in June 2020.

The coin hoard contains 13 silver denarii minted between AD 64 and AD 117. The first coin in the hoard is a denarius of the Emperor Nero (AD 54-68) and the last is a denarius of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117).

The Roman silver coin hoard was discovered by Wayne Jones
The Roman silver coin hoard was discovered by Wayne Jones

The hoard was probably buried a short time later, at around AD 117-125. Halkyn Mountain was an important Roman lead mining site.

A Roman lead pig (ingot), discovered in 2019 in Rossett, Wrexham, has been chemically linked to lead from Halkyn Mountain, and other evidence of early-Roman lead mining and smelting has been discovered in North-East Wales and at nearby Chester.

The burying of this hoard might therefore be linked to mining activities in the area.

Alastair Willis, Senior Curator of Numismatics and the Welsh Economy, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:

“This coin hoard adds to a growing body of evidence for Roman activity in and around Halkyn during the first and second centuries AD, which is likely to have been primarily related to lead mining on Halkyn Mountain.”

Flintshire Museums Service would like to acquire the coin hoard for their collection, following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Sophie Fish, Museums, Culture and Heritage Manager for Flintshire said:

“This is an extremely exciting find from our Roman past. It is interesting to imagine who the coins belonged to and what goods were purchased with the currency.”

“We hope to be able to display them in Mold Museum as part of a new display on Roman activity across Flintshire.”

The small silver annular ‘stirrup’ brooch of medieval date was discovered by Scott Bevan in 2019

A small silver annular ‘stirrup’ brooch of medieval date was discovered by Scott Bevan on October 2019, whilst metal detecting on an arable field in Erbistock Community, Wrexham.

The brooch frame is decorated with fine transverse bands inlaid with black niello, a metal alloy with sulphur.

The dagger-like pin has incised decoration as well as two ‘stirrups’, curved protrusions extending at the pin-head end, which were to prevent snagging. This brooch dates from the thirteenth- or early fourteenth century.

Sian Iles, Curator of Medieval and Later Archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales says:

“Medieval silver annular brooches like the Erbistock example are increasingly recorded in Wales, thanks to reporting through the Treasure Act 1996 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.”

“This continual enrichment of evidence enables us to build a strong picture of the ways personal identities were being expressed Medieval Wales, through the wearing of jewellery and other personal adornments.”

Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives is interested in acquiring the brooch for their collection, following an independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

1,600-Year-Old Elongated Skull with Stone-Encrusted Teeth Found in Mexico Ruins

1,600-Year-Old Elongated Skull with Stone-Encrusted Teeth Found in Mexico Ruins

Archaeologists in Mexico have recently uncovered a 1,600-year-old skeleton of a woman who had mineral-encrusted teeth and an intentionally elongated skull – evidence that suggests she was part of her society’s upper-class.

While it isn’t uncommon for archaeologists to find deformed remains, the new skeleton is one of the most “extreme” ever recorded.

“Her cranium was elongated by being compressed in a ‘very extreme’ manner, a technique commonly used in the southern part of Mesoamerica, not the central region where she was found,” the team said, according to an AFP report.

The team, led by researchers from the National Anthropology and History Institute in Mexico, found the woman in the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan – a pre-Hispanic civilisation that once lied 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Mexico City, existing between the 1st and 8th century AD before it mysteriously vanished.

The woman, who the researchers have named The Woman of Tlailotlacan after the location she was found inside the ancient city, not only had an elongated skull, but she had her top two teeth encrusted with pyrite stones – a mineral that looks like gold at first glance.

Gold studded teeth, Pre-Columbian Ecuador.

She also had a fake lower tooth made from serpentine – a feature so distinctive, the team says it’s evidence to suggest that she was a foreigner to the ancient city.

The elongated skull with stone encrusted teeth found in Teotihuacan, Mexico.

The researchers doesn’t give any details into how these body modifications were performed 1,600-years-ago, or why they were common in the first place. But based on other cultures, such as the Mayans, artificial cranial deformation was likely done in infancy using bindings to grow the skull outwards, possibly to signal social status.

While very little is none about the woman’s faux-golden grill, researchers from Mexico did find 2,500-year-old Native American remains with gems embedded in their teeth back in 2009. In that study, the team said that sophisticated dental practices made the modifications possible, though they were likely used purely for decoration and weren’t symbols of class. 

“It’s possible some type of [herb based] anaesthetic was applied prior to drilling to blunt any pain,” team member José Concepción Jiménez, from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, told National Geographic.

It’s also important to note that the current team’s findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, so we will have to take their word on it for now until they can get their report ready for publication.

The Mexican team aren’t the only ones to discover some interesting human remains lately, either. Back in June, researchers from Australia uncovered 700,000-year-old ‘hobbit’ remains on an island in Indonesia.

More recently, just last week, researchers in China what might be a skull bone belonging to Buddha inside a 1,000-year-old shrine in Nanjing, China.

Needless to say, archaeologists all over the world have been quite busy this year, and we can’t wait to see what they uncover next.