Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Jersey Hoard (Grouville Hoard)

The last coins from an ancient Celtic hoard discovered in a field in Jersey have been successfully removed from the dirt they were buried in.

Dating from around 30-50 BC, the collection of nearly 70,000 coins was six times larger than any other similar Celtic artifacts and also included jewellery, beads and fabric.
The Jersey Hoard (Grouville Hoard) is a hoard of an estimated 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins discovered in June 2012. It was discovered in a field in the parish of Grouville on the east side of Jersey in the Channel Islands.

The hoard is thought to have belonged to a Curiosolitae tribe fleeing Julius Caesar's armies around 50 to 60 BC.
Jersey Heritage's conservation team have been excavating an area known to contain gold jewelery. One end of a solid gold torc was uncovered.

The find follows the discovery of two other solid gold torcs - one gold-plated and one of an unknown alloy - along with a silver brooch and a crushed sheet gold tube.
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At least 50,000 coins dating back to the time of Julius Caesar were found in a field in Jersey. The Roman and Celtic coins, which date from the 1st Century BC, were found by two metal detector enthusiasts.

Archaeologists said the hoard weighed about three quarters of a tonne.
It is the first hoard of coins found in the island for more than 60 years.

Several hoards of Celtic coins have been found in Jersey before but the largest was in 1935 at La Marquanderie when more than 11,000 were discovered.
This is the world's biggest Celtic coin hoard ever, and was a significant part of a tribe's wealth.

It is also one of the world's biggest coin hoards and certainly the biggest coin hoard found in Britain. The value of the hoard was estimated at up to £10m when it was first removed from the ground.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Ancient Helmets


Flattened copper helmet and skull found in the Royal Tomb at Ur
The most vulnerable part of the soldier in battle was his head, so the search for protection by some form of helmet goes back to the earliest times.

Helmets were purpose-built to protect the wearer against the specific weapons he faced. At first, ancient helmets seem to have been pointed at the top, to deflect the downward force. When the ax became popular as a weapon, the shape of the helmet was modified to counter the cutting edge of a downward-falling blade.

Stele of Vultures circa 2500 BC. King Eannatum of Lagash leads a phalanx of soldiers with metal helmets, armed with spears and socketed axes. They are trampling over the bodies of their enemies.
The technology of armor was constantly evolving. By 3,000 BC metal workers were making helmets of copper. 500 years later the Sumerians had bronze helmets, spears and axes.


Egyptian soldier in the act of killing a warrior of the 'Sea Peoples' in the Medinet Habu temple relief

Corinthian helmet

The Helmet of Agighiol is a Geto-Dacian silver helmet dating from the 5th century BC.

Sutton Hoo helmet reconstructed

The Golden Helmet of Coţofeneşti
This 2,600-year-old bronze helmet was discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay, Israel in 2012. When it was made Greek colonies dotted the Mediterranean coast, stretching from the Black Sea to southern France.

This warrior was likely one of Egyptian pharaoh Necho II's mercenaries, which he sent through Israel accompanied by a fleet of ancient ships. The pharaoh was involved in military campaigns in the region for nearly a decade, operations in which this warrior and his group likely were involved.
Ancient Greek helmets from the Archaic period (800 BC – 480 BCE). A Corinthian-type, found in Leivadia. The second is a Illyrian-type. The third is from Agia Paraskevi. All are made of bronze.

The Crosby Garrett Helmet is a copper alloy Roman cavalry helmet dating from the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD. It was found in Cumbria, England

Bronze Helmet from Ancient Greece, around 460 BC

Roman horseman's helmet, found in the Netherlands

Gladiator helmet

Greek Spartan Crest Helmet

Spanish morion (helmet)


Helmet covered in heavy gold florets with spike top, visor front. Chou Dynasty, Emperor Wu Wang tomb complex at Laoyang, circa 1020 BC.

Helmet of a Yuan Dynasty officer

Japanese helmet, circa 1590–1640.

Chinese chichak-style helmet, Ming Dynasty

Helmet from 7th century Viking boat grave
A common myth about the Vikings was that they wore horned helmets in battle. Archaeologists have found no proof to say that their helmets had horns. The reason their helmets didn't have horns was because they would have gotten in the way in battles and may have ended up injuring the wearer.

Real Viking helmets had protective metal down and around the ears and some helmets found in burial mounts had a metal mask in front.

German helmet by famous armorsmith Jörg Seusenhofer ca. 1540

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Vale of York Hoard

The Vale of York Hoard is a 10th-century Viking hoard of 617 silver coins and 65 other items. It was found undisturbed in 2007 near the town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. It is the largest Viking hoard discovered in Britain since 1840.

The items were hidden in a gilt silver vessel lined with gold which is thought to be an ecclesiastical vessel from France. The vessel was buried in a lead chest. A rare gold arm ring and hacksilver were also found.
The hoard had been protected by lead sheeting of some kind. The coins date from the late 9th and early 10th centuries. It's speculated the hoard belonged to a Viking leader during the unrest that followed the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria in the year 927 by the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan (924–939).
The independent Treasure Valuation Committee valued the hoard at £1,082,000.

The hoard was purchased jointly by York Museums Trust, and the British Museum