The Hoxne Hoard

The Hoxne Hoard (pronounced 'Hoxon') is the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, and the largest collection of gold and silver coins of the fourth and fifth century ever found anywhere within the Roman Empire.

Found with metal detector in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England, on 16 November 1992, the hoard consists of 14,865 Roman gold, silver and bronze coins from the late fourth and early fifth centuries, and about 200 items of silver tableware and gold jewellery.
The objects are in the British Museum in London. The hoard is conservatively valued at £2.66 million.

The Ziwiye hoard

The Ziwiye hoard was uncovered on the south shore of Lake Urmia in Ziwiyeh, Kurdistan Province, Iran, in 1947.

The Iranian plateau was the crossroads of a cultural highway as well as a physical one ... on the "Silk Road" of the ancient world. The hoard contains objects of four distinct styles: Assyrian, Scythian, proto-Achaemenid, and the locals.

The hoard contains gold, silver and ivory objects of exquisite workmanship and are dated to around 700 B.C.

The Hoxne Hoard

The Hoxne Hoard (pronounced 'Hoxon') is the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, and the largest collection of gold and silver coins of the fourth and fifth century ever found anywhere within the Roman Empire.

Found with metal detector in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England, on 16 November 1992, the hoard consists of 14,865 Roman gold, silver and bronze coins from the late fourth and early fifth centuries, and about 200 items of silver tableware and gold jewellery.
The objects are in the British Museum in London. The hoard is conservatively valued at £2.66 million.

The Ackworth Hoard

On March 29, 2012 news broke of the Ackworth Hoard. Dr Owen Johnson, 53, was inspecting building work at his home in High Ackworth last July when he spotted a ceramic pot poking out of the earth.

The pot cracked in two spilling out gold and silver coins “like a slot machine.”

Containing 52 gold and 39 silver coins, it is thought the jar had been buried for 300 years, probably at the height of the English Civil War.
The earliest coin is a gold half sovereign of Edward VI minted in 1547-9, and the latest are Charles I silver coins minted in 1645-6. Most of the coins are English coins of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. The Hoard also includes a few Scottish and Irish coins, and ducatoons from the Spanish Netherlands.
As well as the coins, the treasure includes a single gold ring with the inscription: 'When this you see, Remember me.'

The hoard was valued at £54,492 and Wakefield Council managed to raise the money after donations from various groups to keep the items locally.

In early 2013 news broke of the recovery of an additional 81 gold artifacts from the Staffordshire Hoard.

A gilt strip bearing a Biblical inscription in Latin is one of the most significant and controversial finds in the Staffordshire Hoard. Incised into each face of the strip is a verse from the Latin Bible (Numbers 10:35).

rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be scattered and those who hate thee be driven from thy face

Mr Dean said the new finds were ‘closely related’ to the original contents of the Staffordshire Hoard.



The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found. On July 5, 2009 Terry Herbert was searching an area of recently ploughed farmland near Hammerwich, Staffordshire with a metal detector and found the treasure. Over the next five days, enough objects were recovered from the soil to fill 244 bags. Eventually over 3500 items were recovered.

The hoard comprises about 5kg of gold and 1.3kg of silver and has been dated as early as the 6th century. The craftsmanship is elite and the items could only have originated from the highest levels of Saxon society. Most of the gold had been removed from the objects they were attached to, suggesting the hoard was a collection of battle trophies.

The area of Staffordshire where the hoard was found was part of the kingdom of Mercia in the 7th and 8th centuries. The site of the discovery is immediately south of Watling Street, and only 4km (2.5 miles) west of the important Roman staging post of Letocetum. Watling Street was a major Roman road that would have seen continued use in the Anglo-Saxon period. During the 9th century it marked the demarcation line between the Anglo-Saxon and Danish-ruled parts of England.
On 25 November 2009 the hoard was valued by the Treasure Valuation Committee at £3.285 million. It was acquired by the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Mr. Herbert and Fred Johnson, the farmer on whose land the hoard was found, each received a half share.



In July 2012 news surfaced of the SS Gairsoppa.

The 412-foot British ship was shipping a cargo of silver when she was sunk by a single German torpedo on February 17, 1941 about 300 miles south-west of Galway, Ireland. The ship had a crew of 85 but only one man survived.

The Gairsoppa rests about 3 miles below the surface, and the operation to retrieve her cargo is said to be the deepest and largest precious metal recovery ever.

The salvage of 48 tons or 1.4 million ounces of silver in 1,203 bars is about 20% of what the Gairsoppa had in her hold. Bad weather halted the recovery effort.

The rest remains 15,420 feet deep in the North Atlantic. Another expedition is planned for mid-2013.


In October 2012, a novice treasure hunter who bought a basic metal detector returned to the shop in Hertfordshire weeks later, clutching part of Englands' finest ever hoard of Late Roman gold coins.

The man stunned staff by showing them 40 gold Solidi, before asking: 'What do I do with this?' They contacted local experts and together got the permits they needed, headed back to the scene and pulled up another 119 gleaming pieces.


"The man had bought a Garrett Ace 150, retailing at around £135 and described as being ideal for children to use for a hobby. Local heritage officials described the find as 'a nationally significant find.' The coins are a rare example of the Solidus, dating from the last days of Roman rule in Britain. The last consignments of them reached these shores in 408AD."


The Bactrian Treasure is a gold treasure cache that lay under the "Hill of Gold" in Afghanistan, known as Bactria when Alexander the Great conquered the country 2100 years ago.

It lay undisturbed until Soviet archeologists exposed it shortly before the 1979 invasion. Soon after the discovery, a guerrilla war against the Soviet occupation began, followed by civil war. During those years the treasure was kept in the Kabul Museum, which has since been looted. The day before the Russians fled Kabul in February 1989, the treasure was moved to the presidential compound, the safest place in the capital.

The treasure remained safe largely due to the efforts of one man: Mr. Askerzai, a security guard of the central bank who has been guardian of the vaults for 30 years. He is one of the few people in history to have seen the 20,000 gold objects. "It's the best heritage of our country," he said.

Mr Askerzai helped to seal the treasure in seven trunks and guarded it along with the assets of the central bank - gold bars the "size of your arm" worth about £50 million - also kept in the presidential palace. The real threat to the treasure came when the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. A delegation of 10 mullahs arrived with a jeweller to inspect the vaults. A pistol held against his head, he opened the combination lock so they could inspect the gold bars. They had found the second prize, but did not realise the real treasure was in a vault above their heads.

The Taliban asked if there was any other gold, but Mr Askerzai remained silent. He was imprisoned for three months and 17 days, during which he was beaten and tortured, but he did not reveal anything. "I wasn't scared," he said. "I didn't care for my life. They were foreigners. They were not Afghans."

On the Taliban's last night in power, as coalition forces pounded the country with bombs, the Taliban stuffed the central bank's cash reserves into tin trunks and arrived at the vault for the gold bars. They spent four hours trying to open the vault. Mr Askerzai watched. Unknown to them, five years earlier he had broken the key and left it in the lock. The Taliban gave up and fled Kabul as Northern Alliance forces edged closer. That saved the treasure.

In 2003 the vault was opened. Since then, the National Geographic Society has catalogued the collection, which appears to be complete. Also witnessing the re-opening was the archaeologist who originally found the hoard, Viktor Sarianidi.



Builders carrying out work on an old pub in Tippary, Ireland found a hoard of gold coins dating back almost 400 years hidden beneath the floorboards. Eighty-one gold coins were recovered, which date from the reigns of Charles II, James II, William and Mary and William III.

They are guineas and a small number of half guineas. The Guinea was a British gold coin minted by the Royal Mint between 1663 and 1814.



In the fall of 1917, Howard Carter and his sponsor, Lord Carnarvon, began excavating in earnest in the Valley of the Kings.

Carter stated there were items bearing the name Tutankhamun - a faience cup, a piece of gold foil, and a cache of funerary items, that convinced him that the tomb had not yet been found. Carter was determined to search this area by excavating down to the bedrock.

By November 1, 1922, Carter began his fifth and final season in the Valley of the Kings by having his workers expose the workmen's huts at the base of the tomb of Rameses VI. After exposing and documenting the huts, Carter and his workmen began to excavate the ground beneath them. By the fourth day of work, they had found something - a step that had been cut into the rock.

Work feverishly continued and by late afternoon on November 5th, 12 stairs (leading downwards) were revealed; and in front of them, stood the upper portion of a blocked entrance. Carter had discovered an ancient royal Egyptian tomb, one that had lain nearly undisturbed for over 3,300 years.

When the boy king was found he rested inside three golden coffins. The first two were carved in wood. The coffin was first overlaid with sheet gold on a thin layer of plaster. Narrow strips of gold, placed on edge, were then soldered to the base to form cells in which small pieces of colored glass, fixed with cement, were laid.

The third coffin is 296 pounds (135Kg) of gold.

The death mask is solid gold, beaten and burnished, and was placed over the head and shoulders of Tutankhamun's mummy, outside the linen bandages in which the whole body was wrapped. It weighs about 24 pounds. (10.9kg)

The stripes of the headdress are made of blue glass in imitation of lapis lazuli, and the same material has been used for the inlay of the false beard. The vulture's head upon the brow, symbolizing sovereignty over Upper Egypt, is also solid gold, apart from the beak, which is made of horn-colored glass, and the inlay of the eyes, which is missing. By its side is the cobra, symbolizing sovereignty over Lower Egypt, its body made of solid gold, its head of dark blue faience, its eyes of gold cloisonne inlaid with translucent quartz backed with a red pigment, and its hood inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise-colored glass, and quartz.

There has been speculation about the fate of the boy king who inherited the throne at 11, and who died around 1324 BC at age 19.

Tests performed on 16 royal mummies found four, including Tut, had contracted a severe form of malaria that likely cut short Tut's reign -- ruling out murder or some other sickness.