Monday, December 19, 2011

Wessex Water – delivering water and sewerage services within South West England

Wessex Water – delivering water and sewerage services within South West England

We have donated a hoard of Roman coins to the Museum of Somerset.

The coins, which were buried around 298 AD, were discovered during the building of a new water treatment plant at Maundown (pictured), near Wiveliscombe, in 2006.

Our environmental manager, Rachel Cawte, said: "The archaeologists gathered a wealth of information during their four weeks at the site and the haul of coins was a very exciting find for all of us involved in the project.

"We recognise the importance of appropriate archaeological investigations for all our major construction schemes and we were pleased to help shed some light on how our ancestors lived in this part of Somerset 2,000 years ago."

We funded the excavation and donated the hoard along with other finds of pottery and artefacts such as a shale bracelet.

The work of cleaning and recording the coins was carried out at the British Museum.

Somerset county councillor Christine Lawrence, cabinet member for heritage, said: "We are delighted to accept this kind donation from Wessex Water into the Museum of Somerset, where they can be viewed and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come.

"This find again highlights Somerset's rich heritage and shows how important it is to properly investigate archaeological remains disturbed by development."

Many hoards of Roman coins date back to around 300AD, which suggests many people were saving during that period.

Somerset County Council's head of museums, Stephen Minnitt, added: "The Maundown hoard of coins is a hugely significant find because instead of being buried in an apparently isolated location, like many other hoards, it was positioned beneath the floor of a Roman timber building.

"The location may show that the hoard was meant to be retrieved at some time and implies burial as storage rather than any religious or other ritual purpose."