the crondall hoard
The club had searched most of the fields on this farm at Crondall in Hampshire with good results on most of them. New land had been promised for Sunday 26th September 2004 so it was with eager anticipation that the large contingent of Weekend Wanderers excitedly arrived at this undetected field. Sun ripened barley had been neatly removed giving us an exciting new field full of great potential.
Treasure amongst the trash
The 9.30am start couldn't come round soon enough and shortly after, detectorists were heads down all over the field digging from the very off which is usually a relief to see. There's nothing worse than the sight of seeing nobody digging but the opposite proved to become the awful truth as the next two hours would reveal.
An enlightening chat with a couple of guys who had resigned themselves to an early mid-morning break by propping up their cars and supping coffee said it all. ‘It's a landfill site! Nothing but squashed drinks cans and trash! It’s crap!’ The admonishing complaint stung somewhat especially as I heard the same from the hacked off fellows next to him who held out his condemning evidence, a pile of Lilt and Coke cans plus all sorts of non-ferrous debris.
Times like this are uncomfortable for a dig organizer as 'green waste’ is becoming more common place. A nearby digger noting the complaints from the others, held out his hand, proudly showed off two lovely silver Roman denarii and said, 'There might be the odd tin can out there but I have just found these! On seeing this, a guy nearby said he had found one too and said quite a few had come up. Energized by the reports of many silver coins, the group went off again to diligently cover the field in spite of the trash.
Later investigation revealed that gully emptying lorries had emptied their loads over this field as a sort of ‘green manure.'
The upshot was that an overlay of roadside drain waste had masked the ancient finds hidden beneath. Squashed aluminium cans, ring pulls and foil were contended with but duly eliminated from the site but the hard work was worth it as many more silver denarii came up.
A scattered ROMAN hoard
Many Roman denarii had been gleaned from the trashy areas and FLO David Williams who was present on the day stated that this must be a scattered hoard.
Estimates are that over forty denarii came up including unusual serrated types were among the recovered coins with two full gold Iron Age gold staters plus an rare silver Anglo-Saxon brooch.