It is not often you get to hear from one of the world’s leading authorities on Roman Coins. In the new episode of the Archaeology Hour, Vincent Drost, Roman coin expert at England’s British Museum, speaks to us about 22,000 coins found at Seaton Down in the recent past. The coins gives us insight into the Roman monetary system and its empire-wide mints. We also discuss why so many such coin hoards were buried and never recovered.
One of the Seaton Down coins was the millionth object cataloged by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Image: Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum
More images of the Seaton Down coins can be found at:
Next Christine Madigan (voted best Brit accent) gives us an overview of the current exhibit at the British Museum on The Celts. Working with the national Museum of Scotland and sources on the Continent, they have brought together some of the most remarkable finds over the years – magnificent pieces of jewelry and armor decorative in the distinctive Celtish style.
Finally NOAA archaeologist Bruce Terrell discusses a mysterious wreck found in six thousand fathoms off the coast of North Carolina. Far out on the Blake Plateau the little craft may be a coasting schooner blown far off course – or perhaps a rare Bermuda Sloop. Coasting schooners are represented by the vessel found at Brown’s Ferry in the Black River near Georgetown SC.
Excavated by Alan Albright and later worked on by the author, the wreck tells us much about how these craft were built and operated. Bermuda sloops, however, are poorly documented. The National Maritime Museum in UK has drawings made by the Admiralty (they were that impressed by the speed and handling of the sloops) but wreckage has never been found and verified.
There MAY be a wreck of one off Turks & Caicos and Nick Hutchings of Bermuda has been planning an expedition to it for some years now. The Bermuda Sloop Foundation has built a replica from modern materials based on a painting. The North Carolina ‘mystery’ wreck has yet to be examined by an archaeologist. Terrell tells us about the discovery and attempts to identify it.
The Archaeology Hour podcast is now live on Podomatic and you can follow it by opening the link and downloading the broadcast. The pilot edition features interview with Marc Bernier of Parks Canada on the HMS Erebus expedition lead-up (a results interview will follow) and a second feature with Irene Morfini, one of the two young archeologists who have made a major new tomb discovery in Egypt. The broadcast also features pieces by Rob Steele on archaeological travel to Belize, a piece by Elle Shepard on the exhibition of the 1600s ship Vasa in Sweden, and some off-beat archaeological news from Brannon Lamar.
New Archaeology Hour broadcasts are to follow shortly. They will feature British Museum coin expert Vincent Drost on the Seaton Down Roman coin hoard found in England, Archaeologist Bruce Terrellon a mystery ship found in six thousand fathoms of the coast of North Carolina and more contributions from Steele, Shepard and Lamar.
Major new story to be featured in the near future will be an exclusive interview with Brendan Foley, American partner with the Greek Government in the upcoming (next week!) excavation of the long fabled Antikythera wreck. Found in 1900 by Greek sponge divers, the wreck produced a fabulous hoard of marble and bronze statuary. Cousteau returned to the site in the 1950s and 1970s – but it took Foley’s team to discover that the wreck was far larger than originally thought. If the weather holds breathtaking finds may soon be revealed by the sands of Antikythera after more than two thousand years.
A new blog posting this coming weekend will feature an interview with Foley and the podcast will follow that shortly.
A few of the coins found by Nick Davies. Source: Daily Mail UK.
“The Archaeology Hour” – the radio podcast soon to be a video podcast soon to be a cable channel program is developing well. Our pilot program being pulled to gather now will have features on a number of major discoveries around the world from Egypt to the UK.
Irene Morfi will be talking to us about a discovery at two tombs at Sheikh Abd el-Gourna near Thebes. They were discovered in the 19th century and though to be a small tomb complex. A re-examination by Morfi and her colleagues revealed an undiscovered shaft — and this led to a massive multi-layered complex. The layout of the new complex appears to have been constructed to represent the mythical tomb of Osiris, an important figure in the creation myth of the ancient Egyptian culture. We will be asking Dr. Morfi about the most recent work on the tomb complex — and why it was never discovered when early explorers entered the smaller tomb as far back as 1887.
We will also be talking to archaeologist James Drummond-Murray of Oxford Archaeology about a dig near a cemetery in Luton, Bedfordshire. The local council decided to lay a new road to improve access to the cemetery—and the work unearthed a Roman burial. Archaeologists then discovered that not only had the area had been used as a burial site from Roman times to the present — but that even Bronze age and neolithic age artifacts were present on the site. We’ll chat to Drummond-Murray about what this may mean, possibly a continuously used sacred site from very ancient times to the present.
Vincent Drost is an ancient coin expert at the British Museum in London. He will be talking to us about more than 10,000 Roman coins found in a clay jar by metal detectorist Nick Davies (who was on his very first outing with his metal detector). We’ll talk about theories as to why the hoard was buried (almost three hundred years before Saxons and Vikings were reading Britain) and what they tell us about Roman coin production at the time.
Nick Davies and the pot. Daily Mail.
We are also working on one of my favorite topics – English witchcraft. Researcher Brian Hoggard has made a study of methods and spells used by people to ward off the evil castings of witches (always something to watch out for). He will chat with us about recent research—and perhaps provide us with some useful advice into the bargain.
Archaeologist Jackie Woods found a witchcraft related site in own backyard in Cornwall – that dated from the ancient past to modern times! Source: Archaeology Magazine.