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Builder Discovers Roman Coins

One of the largest hoards of Roman coins ever discovered in the UK has been unearthed by a builder.

Metal detector enthusiast Laurence Egerton discovered the haul of 22,000 fourth-century copper-alloy coins in Devon in November last year.

After uncovering the coins on the Clinton Devon Estates, near Seaton Down, Egerton reported the find to the landowner and the local authority – and slept in his car for three nights to guard it.

The hoard was then carefully removed in its entirety by a team of archa­eolo­gists. Over the past 10 months the coins have been lightly cleaned, identified and catalogued by experts from the British Museum.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is now launching a bid to purchase the coins for public display in the city.

Egerton spoke of his shock at finding the haul, which was located near a Roman villa and possible fort at the Honeyditches site.

Dr Roger Bland, from the British Museum, said: “It is one of the largest coin hoards of the fourth century ever found within the Roman empire but, despite the number of coins found, the financial value would not have been great, amounting to appro­ximately four gold coins.

“This sum of money would possibly have provided the ration of four soldiers for one year or a worker’s pay for two years.”

  

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