In May 2016, Jason Baker discovered an extremely rare “Roman lead pig” with his CTX 3030 on a rally organised by the Southern Detectorists Club in Wellls, Somerset.
This piece dated between 164 AD -169 AD, is a Roman mining ingot with the inscriptions of the ruling emperors - "IMP(ERATOR) DVOR (UM) AVG (VSTI) ANTONINI ET VERI ARMENIACORVM", which translates - “The property of the emperors Marcus Aurelius Armeniacus and Lucius Verus Armeniacus”. This is a very interesting and unique find as only a few exist that are complete.
Jason contacted Minelab to report his find. He was grateful as other metal detectors were used on that day, but the CTX 3030 was the only one that detected the Roman ingot - “a find of a lifetime. It was truly amazing and life changing!”.
The story was covered by several UK publications. Here is an extract from the article in the Daily Mail UK:
The 31-year-old, from Plymouth, said the find of the ancient 38kg stone has 'changed his life'. He said: 'Normally I find just a couple of Roman coins and that's normally a good day, so to find something like this has just changed my life. 'There's been one sold - a smaller one - for £36,000 and I've heard a few reports of some fetching £250,000.'
Amateur detectorist Baker said there had been a 'frenzy of finds' so when his detector 'went off' he 'knew it was something good'.
And according to Mr Baker, a member of staff from the Museum of Somerset in Taunton had been at the dig and said it was the 'best thing he'd ever seen'. He added: 'When the Romans invaded Britain 2,500 years ago, they mined up the lead, cast it into big lead blocks and put the emperor's name on it and sent it back to Rome. 'Basically mine got lost on the process back to Rome,' he said.
Sean McDonald, from the club, said the last Roman pig found was in the 18th century. He added: 'It is such a rare find it's hard to put a price on it. A minimum would be £60,000 but it could go over that fivefold. 'It doesn't come under the Treasure Act because it's made of lead - and not silver or gold - so Jason doesn't have to split it 50:50 with the farmer. 'But he is, because he is such a nice bloke.'
Other sites that published the story: