Linda is one of our amazing volunteers at the museum. She attended the talk on the 18th May on our current display of the local Bredon Hill Hoard.
I went to the Broadway Museum and Art Gallery evening talk on 18th May, and this month the talk was was about local archaeology. This was to tie in with the Bredon Hoard currently being on display at the Museum, thanks to support from ArtFund and Museums Worcestershire.
After an introduction from Liz Eyre, we had a very interesting overview of hoarding in Britain from the first guest speaker, Angie Bolton. Angie explained how and why hoards exist. She told us that as well as objects being deliberately collected possibly for use in emergencies or as savings, some hoards occurred due to accidental loss or the owner having to abandon them. Angie gave a fascinating insight into the different periods of disruption and turmoil that led to hoards being built up, such as invasions, war and natural disasters. In British history this corresponds to invasion by the Romans and Germanic tribes up to the third century, plague in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the English Civil War as well as more recently the First and Second World Wars. Hoards are assembled in different ways, including burial in a vessel like an earthenware pot, with the pot being buried up to its rim then filled. Angie works with metal detectorists and helps them understand that keeping their finds in situ will help archaeologists analyse how the hoard was created.
Our second guest speaker was Debbie Fox, who took us back to June 2011 and discovery of the Bredon Hoard, which contained around 3,874 Roman coins covering the span of sixteen Roman Emperors. She described how the two local metal detectorists who found the hoard removed it in a block so this allowed the archaeologists to study how it had been created. Like all found ‘treasure’ it went initially to the British Museum. The find was considered so momentous that a team of Worcestershire archaeologists went to carry out a dig at the hoard’s site, at a location that remains secret on Bredon Hill. This led to the exciting and unexpected discovery of Roman building material suggesting the presence of a villa.
For the Bredon Hoard itself, the evidence is that the coins were collected above ground and then buried around two generations after the latest dates on the coins. Debbie spoke about how the coins were painstakingly cleaned and conserved, much of the work being done by volunteers. Her comments about the ‘concrete-like’ consistency of Bredon Hill mud struck a chord with many in the room. Debbie rounded off her talk by sharing that the Bredon Hoard had been one of the Worcester Museum’s most popular exhibits.
The Bredon Hoard is on display at the Broadway Museum and Art Gallery until the end of May.