Tale of two Celtic Silver Stater hoards

Explorer II

August 19, 2013 01:00pm

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Metal detector finds - celtic coins

The first day dawned and my regular detecting mate Dave Green couldn't join me because he had a prior commitment so I took another friend. We spent the first two hours on some Rape stubble and found zilch so we decided to move on to some pasture land where we have had occasional Roman coins. I went one way with my recent acquisition an old Explorer II that I had brought off eBay as a backup to my normal detector the CTX 3030.

My friend found a couple of grotty Roman coins so I decided to rejoin him at the top of the field. Within a couple of minutes of arriving I had a really Iffy signal that most people probably wouldn't have dug. Having used Explorers for many years I knew different, so I dug and there looking up at me from about 10" was the unmistakeable glint of Silver and the pellets and design on it told me immediately it was a local Durotrigan Silver Stater. After kissing it and shouting to my mate I checked the hole and the signal was still there, no way I thought was I lucky enough to have two but there it was and safely in my pouch then I had some more signals that quickly turned into Staters also. After seven or eight the hole went quiet so I started checking out around the hole and there was signals there also which turned out to be more staters that had obviously been ploughed out and were just sitting on the surface. After reaching a total of 13 I gave it best and decided to start ringing round friends & family before travelling home, what a day.

Two days later Dave was able to join me so we decided to go have another recce round the find spot.

We were both still using our Explorer IIs, I always loved that detector before moving on to all the other models as they came out. Dave had a 15" WOT coil on his that I had lent him and he rushed off as soon as we got in the field and started detecting, within a couple of minutes he had got literally 10m past the first find spot and he too had an Iffy signal which I checked out and told him to dig. As soon as the soil was out the hole we once again saw the unmistakeable shape and design of a Celtic Silver Stater. I love them, it's my favourite local coin.

Over the years we have both had quite a few of these as single finds from all over Dorset but we are always excited when we get another. After recovering this one we still had a signal again, surely not lucky again, could we be, but there it was another Stater, then another, and another. Well after the first two I rushed to get my new Video Camera out of the van and a chair for Dave to sit on and film. He has been struggling of late with a new knee joint that's taking a while to heal so I took over all the digging. The coins were coming out of the hole thick and fast until around the thirty mark the hole fell silent. I then said to Dave we better sift through the big spoil heap around the hole because we didn't do it when I dug it out. Sure enough there were loads of coins still to be had and we were still filming it. I think we got to around fifty five coins in total before the probe finally told us that was that.

At this stage around mid day we needed a break, It had been the worst digging conditions I think I had encountered, being on top of a hill the ground was very flinty over chalk as all Dorset hilltops are, I was pooped big time. Dave had to leave me to go back to his shop for the afternoon session so after a rest and some food I started out again but this time I only got two yards from the hole and immediately got a signal and another stater 4-5" down but only one. Then the same thing happened again and again and carried on all afternoon until I had found 20 more staters then things went silent. These had all been dragged by the plough over the years out of the hoard. I spent another half hour walking up and down and even tried the GPX 5000 but no more signals. What a day, a week later nearly and I still ache from all the difficult digging. So a total of 75 Durotrigan Silver Celtic Staters buried some 2000 years previously by an occupant of a nearby Celtic settlement no doubt for security or as an offering. The hoards have now been sent to the British museum to be put through the treasure process and duly recorded.

Tony - England, UK


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