Meet the Metal Detectorist
5 April 2017
Come to RAMM on Saturday 22 April and meet metal detectorist Laurence Egerton, the finder of the Seaton Down Hoard. He will be sharing his stories and showing his finds, along with other members of the East Devon Metal Detectorists club, on the opening day of RAMM’s Seaton Down Hoard Weekend.
Seaton Down Hoard Weekend
The Seaton Down Hoard weekend (22 and 23 April) is a Roman celebration with family activities, object handling – including coins from the Seaton Down Hoard – and a range of experts: curators, conservators and archaeologists.
On Saturday Laurence will be joined by curators and archaeologist Laura Burnett, Finds Liaison Officer with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). The scheme was set up in 1997 to record archaeological finds by the public and advance the knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales. On Sunday RAMM conservator Sarah Klopf will be conserving coins from the hoard.
There are Roman coin conservation workshops on Thursday 6 April and Saturday 13 May when A-level students will be able to conserve coins from the Seaton Down Hoard. The Seaton Down Roman Roadshow will be visiting The Devon County Show (18 to 20 May), Exeter Respect (3 to 4 June) Ottery St Mary (10 June) and Heath Week at Woodbury Castle (23 July). Roman Devon tours and handling sessions occur at RAMM on the first and third Thursday of each month. A portion of the hoard is on display at RAMM and the entire hoard will be on display from July.
Finding the Seaton Down Hoard
Laurence Egerton found the hoard whilst metal-detecting on land owned by Clinton Devon Estates. When he realised the extent of the find he contacted the Devon County Council archaeologist, Bill Horner, who arranged for the hoard to be professionally excavated by AC Archaeology. This prompt action ensured the protection of the hoard and enabled important information about the hoard’s archaeology to be recorded.
About the hoard
The Seaton Down Hoard consists of 22,888 Roman coins and three iron ingots. It is by far the largest coin hoard found in Devon and the third largest ever found in Britain. It was buried in around AD 350 but why, and by whom is a mystery. Could it have been wages for workers or a merchant’s savings? Were the coins stolen or were they being hidden from the taxman? We may never know. The coins were all buried at the same time and were probably held in a large leather sack or saddle bag.
Saving the Seaton Down Hoard
The purchase and conservation of the hoard of coins was made possible by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Clinton Devon Estates, a private donation by Patrick Long, and many contributions by members of the public.
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