Sunday, January 31, 2010

Harborough Museum has the oldest Roman coin found in Britain

This story has been in the press in recent days, but let's go to the best source. The Leicestershire Museums blog reports:

What is believed to be the oldest Roman coin ever found in Britain makes its museum debut, 2220 years after it was made. The silver denarius coin is now on display at Harborough Museum, Market Harborough alongside other coins that were excavated with it. It is 4 years older than the coin previously thought to be the oldest surviving example.

The coin was found during excavation of a site near the village of Hallaton, Leicestershire. It is one of over 5000 Iron Age and Roman coins found at the site, believed to be a Late Iron Age shrine of the Corieltavi tribe dating to the 1st century AD.

This posting goes on to suggest that the coin may have reached Britain before the Roman conquest and is thus evidence of exchange through trade or diplomacy.

I get most of my history from Time Team these days, and I gather from viewing it that the idea of a single Roman "conquest" of Britain is out of fashion. It is now seen as a longer process with cultural and economic elements beside the military one.

Now read more about the Harborough Museum. Or see a picture of a Roman in Market Harborough.

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