Rare Roman coin collection goes on display in Warwick

A rare collection of Roman coins that the Warwickshire community helped secure have now gone on display in Warwick.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 12:13 pm
Some of the Roman coin hoard and the pot they were found in. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

The hoard of 440 of Roman Silver Dinari coins are now on display in Market Hall Museum.

After a very successful fundraising campaign, Warwickshire Museum (Heritage and Culture Warwickshire) has now acquired the second South Warwickshire Roman silver Denarii coin hoard.

Curators from the museum service collected the coins from the British Museum in London earlier in the month and brought them back to Market Hall Museum where they are now on display, along with the pot in which they were discovered.

Some of the Roman coin hoard and the pot they were found in. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

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The hoard will be on display temporarily on the ground floor of the museum until July 6 when it will make way for the summer exhibition 'To the Moon and Beyond.' Following this, it will be transferred to the ‘Origins to Romans’ gallery on the first floor of the Market Hall Museum later in the month.

The hoard was found on the Edge Hill in 2015 during excavations of a Roman settlement, it contains coins that date back as far as 147BC and includes rare coins from the 'Year of the Four Emperors' AD 68 to 69.

It was acquired with the assistance of the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund and donations from the public.

One of the Roman coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

Councillor Heather Timms, portfolio holder for environment, heritage and culture said: “This is an amazingly important find for Warwickshire and our Roman past.

"Now that the hoard has come home, these coins will remain here where Warwickshire’s residents can enjoy them for generations to come.

"The international significance of some of the coins in this hoard will increase visitors not only to Warwick, but the wider county, which can only contribute to our key objective of making the Warwickshire economy vibrant.

“We are really excited to have the hoard where it belongs at Market Hall Museum and would like to thank our funders, Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund and generous donations from the public, we couldn't have done it without them.”

The hoard made up of 440 silver denarii coins was uncovered during an archaeological dig at a Roman site on the Edge Hill in 2015. They were buried in a ceramic pot over 1900 years ago, under the floor of a building.

This is the second hoard of denarii to be found in this area and this new discovery contains 78 coins dating to AD 68-69, a turbulent time in Roman history known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’.

This important period is known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, when the death of Nero in AD 68 sparked a civil war, resulting in four successive rulers in a short span of time: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian. As they vied for power, each contender struck their own coins to fund their armies, and these coins are incredibly rare.

Within a roughly 18 month period the title of Emperor changed hands four times. Very few of these coins from this turbulent time survive, The second South Warwickshire hoard contains the largest collection of civil war-era coins ever found.