Institute of Archaeology

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Conservation of Late Iron Age and Roman coins discovered in cave

10 July 2014

Late Iron Age and Roman coins found at Dovedale, Derbyshire (© Richard Davenport Photography / National Trust)

Institute student Stephanie Vasiliou is responsible for the conservation of the Late Iron Age and Roman coins found recently in Dovedale, Derbyshire.

An excavation in Dovedale, Derbyshire unearthed a hoard of Late Iron Age and Republican Roman coins, the first time coins of these two periods are thought to have been found buried together in a cave in Britain.

The initial discovery of four coins was made by a member of the public, which led the National Trust to carry out a full excavation of the cave. In total twenty six coins were found, including three Roman coins which pre-date the invasion of Britain in AD 43.

The discovery at Reynard’s Kitchen Cave in Derbyshire is significant because not only is it unusual to find Late Iron Age gold coins, but to unearth them actually within a cave setting adds to the mystery surrounding them.

Stephanie Vasiliou examining Late Iron Age and Roman coins found at Dovedale, Derbyshire (© Richard Davenport Photography / National Trust)

The coins, which have been cleaned by Stephanie and conservation colleagues at the British Museum, will go on permanent display at Buxton Museum later this year.

The Institute's MSc degree in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums supports those who wish to pursue a career in the practice of conservation. It consists of one year’s training at the Institute of Archaeology, during which there is emphasis on developing practical experience under specialist guidance in the conservation laboratories, followed by a ten-month assessed conservation internship in a museum or similar institution.

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Conservation of Late Iron Age and Roman coins found in DerbyshireClose up of one of the Late Iron Age and Roman coins found in DerbyshireConservation of Late Iron Age and Roman coins found in Derbyshire

All images ©Richard Davenport Photography/National Trust