Sometime as far back as the Iron Age a person decided to stash a number of coins deep in a cave for safekeeping. Fast-forward to a modern climber who discovers four of these coins and kicks off a full-scale archeological dig at Reynard’s Kitchen Cave in England’s Dovedale Valley. To date, 26 coins have been retrieved from the cave — and all of them have been handed over to the British Museum.
Most of the gold and silver coins were from the Corieltauvi tribe, according to the British Museum’s curator of Iron Age and Roman coins, Ian Leins. The Corieltauvi were a Celtic tribe from England. These somewhat-peaceful people were really a collection of smaller agricultural tribes. Interestingly enough, the Corieltauvi were not normally associated with the region where the coins were discovered.
In addition to the Celtic coins, there were three Roman coins, and three coins from significantly later. The Roman coins are from a period prior to the Roman invasion. According to the British Museum, it’s fairly common to find coins from different time periods together. Coins from earlier eras often circulated with more modern coins, just like they do today.
Archeologists speculate that the coins of this era were used more for saving than for commerce. The fact that the coins were found stashed away seems to lend credence to this theory. Rachael Hall, who’s an archaeologist for the National Trust, explained her take on the coin hoard to the Daily Mail. “Coins were used more as a symbol of power and status during the Late Iron Age, rather than for buying and selling staple foods and supplies,” Hall stated.
The coins are valued at about $3,400. Not too shabby for 26 coins! The coins are considered “treasure” according to the UK’s 1996 Treasure Act, and therefore must be reported and donated to a museum. So if you’re planning a trip to England, you can see the coins for yourself. Later this year, they’ll be on display at Buxton Museum in Derbyshire, England.
Liberty Coin & Currency<a specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family-owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We also buy gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.