On the afternoon that I first went out with my metal detector I unearthed about ten silver coins. Unusually, for coins, they were dish-shaped and decorated with images of strange, disjointed horses. As I moved over the field with the detector I picked up the signals of many more coins. — Ken Wallace
A local field archaeological group decided to explore a field they had not visited before in the Parish of Hallaton. What they found overturned what we previously knew of Iron Age tribes pre-Roman conquest.
One of the group got permission to do a survey with a metal detector. In one visit he found 200 coins on or near the surface. He was onto something big. 200 coins exceeded that which had previously been found in Leicestershire.
It was quickly realised that they had to proceed in utmost secrecy as Night Hawks would descend and plunder and loot the site.
Help was sought and enlisted from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) and the British Museum.
A JCB was used to dig exploratory trench across the site. JCB!
It soon became apparent that the 200 coins were the tip of the iceberg.
Fourteen bags of coins containing several thousand gold and silver coins issued by Iron age tribes and Romans coins. Also pig bones. The pig bones were outside of the area where the coins and other objects were found, therefore may indicate festival or celebration or feasting. Pigs were not common diet.
Coins from the Corieltavi tribe, local to Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. There was an Iron Age settlement on the edge of Brayford Pool in Lincoln.
Coins from other tribes. A gold coin issued by Cunobelin, ruler of the Trinovantes. Coins from the Catuvellauni tribes who lived to the south of the Corieltavi
Coins issued by the emperor Augustus. These coins suggest the Corieltavi had links with the Romans prior to the invasion of Britain in AD 43.
The find includes the oldest Roman coin ever found in England. It is believed to date to 211 BC making it around 250 years old when it was buried by the Corieltavi tribe.
Ingots and evidence of casting were also found.
And a Roman cavalry helmet.
There is no evidence of any settlement. The site appeared to be an open air temple or scared site, the finds sacrifices. This is significant as further south Temples were used.
Many finds have been found in the River Witham, just downstream of Lincoln where the Witham flows past Washingborough. Possibly suggests sacrifices in the river. Many dug-out boats also found.