Last weekend saw me out on an organised dig, a good 2 hour drive from home so a very early start. The first few minutes at 5am are always a killer, but after a coffee the excitement of the day soon had me wide awake.
Eventually I arrived at the dig site, along with half of the UK's detecting fraternity (or so it seemed); it was a sharp, sunny morning and I soon got talking to some of the other detectorists as I set up my trusty CTX. Chatting to one guy in particular, I soon got the impression that perhaps the fields had been 'done to death'......oh brother, let's hope not....but I've heard that before and still had nice finds.
So after the briefing, we all set off in high expectation. First 10 metres, first signal and up pops a nice buckle ...things could be promising. An hour later, and several lumps of lead, I was beginning to think these fields have been 'done to death' ! Then a very iffy, jumpy signal and about 7 inches down I pull out what I thought at the time was a Georgian copper penny, due to the thickness and knackered appearance. On later inspection at home after a gentle scrub under warm water, I found it was an 1854 Victorian copper penny. I'd never found a Victorian copper penny, larger than the more common bronze varieties and considerably thicker. So, a first...I was a happy man.
Then followed hours, and I mean hours, of trashy signals....shotgun cartridges, random bits of unidentifiable lumps of metal. I was running the CTX quite high sensitivity wise, so lots of falsing.
I'd heard a few hammered's were coming up, so continued on my quest, ever hopeful. Finally, I decided to try the last field I hadn't visited.....quick pee in the hedgerow, only to be shocked half to death by a hare bolting for it's life.....poor animal !
Right, let's do this ! Shotgun cartridge, lead....lead, foil...and then, as I started to approach the far side of the field I noticed the falsing had dropped off considerably as well as the iron grunts.
Then... a ping. A double ping. I didn't bother looking at the screen or the reading, the tone was...good. Oh please be something good, just this once........silver. I pushed the earth away with my pinpointer, definitely silver. I picked up my find a gently scraped a thin layer of soil off. Oh wow! Cue heart rate increase. I could see writing. Old writing. Slight increase in heart rate again. A seated figure. I removed the soil from the other side. Huge increase in heart rate.
An emperor !!! I actually did jump up in the air at this point (what an idiot!)
So here it is.....my very first roman silver, my first roman with any real detail, and boy were those hours of lead and shotgun cartridges worth it.
I was told at the dig that it is possibly a Tiberius Denarius minted in Lugdunum (modern day Lyon), also known as a tribute penny.
If someone could confirm the id I would be extremely grateful.
Sometimes those hard days can seriously be worth it !!!!
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