A GRAPHIC account of the discovery of one of the most important hoards of rare Roman coins was given on Tuesday, May 28th to guests at Bexhill Museum.
The visitors included town MP Greg Barker, High Sheriff Graham Peters, Town Mayor Cllr Frances Winterborn, and Rother chief executive Derek Stevens.
Tim Symmonds was taking a short-cut back to his car in pouring rain with his metal detector under his arm when the device began to beep. He paused to pick up a couple of coins before sprinting for shelter.
Six months later when experts had identified the historical importance of the coins Tim was left wracking his brains to remember which field near his Burwash home he’d been crossing. Eventually, he had a ?eureka? moment in the middle of the night. By retracing his steps the detector given him by his partner, Lesley, led him to a pot of more than 3,000 silver coins, thought to have been buried more than 1,800 years ago.
Guests heard how fashion-conscious Romano-British women would clamour for newly-minted coins simply to copy the latest hairstyles adopted by the empresses of the time.
All 23 of the Roman empresses featured on the coins were murdered, one within two months of the coin bearing her likeness being struck!
The field had never been ploughed. The hoard remained undiscovered until Mr Symmonds took his short-cut after the surface had been skimmed following a clover crop.
The Wealden Hoard is currently on loan to Bexhill Museum from Brighton Museum, which purchased it.
Greg Barker described the exhibition as a great thing for Bexhill museum and for the local community.
Thanking guests, museum chairman John Betts gave advance notice of a fund-raising dinner at the Cooden Beach Hotel on May 22, 2014 to mark next year’s museum centenary.