The hoard of Roman coins was found in the parish of Askerswell in West Dorset in 2017 during a metal detecting rally.
A total of 627 silver denarius coins were recovered, the majority being retrieved on the same day through archaeological excavation by Mike Trevarthen and Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen.
The hoard was probably buried in the late 80s CE, as the latest coin found dates to 85 CE. However, the earliest coins date to the Roman Republic, although there are coins of all of the Emperors of the 1st century CE from Augustus to Domitian. It is the largest hoard of its date in Britain, and nothing like it has previously been seen in Dorset.
Following their discovery, the coins were declared as Treasure. Dorset Museum raised a total of £34,977 to acquire them through the Treasure process, with the support of significant grants from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Headley Trust Archaeological Acquisitions Fund, Richard Beleson and a number of other private donors.
The new showcase display, which runs from 4 August until 28 September 2023, allows visitors a first glance at some of the most important coins from the hoard, as well as an insight into the work going on behind the scenes to research, catalogue and eventually to display the whole hoard in the Museum’s People’s Dorset gallery.
The showcase display is located outside the Museum’s Collection Discovery Centre, the Museum’s on-site collection store, built as part of the Museum’s redevelopment in 2021. The store has a glass façade through which visitors are able to see the work that goes on behind the scenes to research, conserve and catalogue the collections. There are also monthly tours of the Centre. The next public tour of the Collections Discovery Centre takes place on 23 August 2023 at 2pm.
Elizabeth Selby, Director of Collections and Public Engagement at the Museum said, “We were delighted to have been able to acquire this rare and significant coin hoard in 2022 with the support of a number of generous funders and donors. We are thrilled to be able to give visitors a first glance at the Hoard as we continue to carry out the necessary work to catalogue, photograph and research it. We hope that the hoard will go on permanent display at the Museum in 2024.”
Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen, Finds Liaison Officer for Dorset Council said: “This exceptional discovery was reported by the finders as potential treasure through the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, and it is important that the Dorset Museum was able to acquire it as a result of the process.”
2 December 2023 - 21 April 2024
Awakened by Frink
Awakened by Frink is a community exhibition of artwork by members of the Deaf community created during a series of workshops at Dorset Museum and Art Gallery.Find out more
2 December 2023 - 21 April 2024
Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within
Experience the inner world of famous sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) in a major new exhibition exploring her artistic and personal life in Dorset. Showcasing over 80 sculptures, drawings and prints, this exhibition will explore her artistic process, personal life, and the influences that shaped her work.Find out more
3 February - 30 May 2024
John Brown in Dorchester: Rebuilding a Life after slavery
Discover the little-known story of John Brown, in this new showcase display outside the Collections Discovery Centre.Find out more
07 March 2024, 10:00am- 10:30am
Storytime at the Museum
Come and join us for fun-filled Storytime where you can listen to some amazing tales in our Community Space at the Museum.Find out more
14 March 2024, 3pm - 4pm
Saving Treasure for Dorset: The Stalbridge and Charlton Marshall hoards
Join Dr Clare Randall for this afternoon talk, to find out more about two fascinating archaeological hoards that Dorset Museum & Art Gallery are currently raising funds to save for the county.Find out more
14 March 2024, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
The News on Ancient Sea Reptiles | Dr Darren Naish
In this talk, Darren looks at how our ideas on ancient sea reptiles have changed, what ancient sea reptiles were like as living animals, and on what we still hope to discover.Find out more
17 March 2024
The Critter Clan presents The Critter Chronicles: Exploring the enchanting myths and legends of bugs! 🕷️
The Critter Clan is back with its latest captivating and immersive experience “The Critter Chronicles” where you will travel through time unlocking the secrets, folklore and profound beliefs surrounding some fascinating invertebrates.Find out more
17 March 2024, 11am - 4pm
⚗️Family Science Day 🔭
Come and meet a real scientist! Get involved with some fascinating hands-on learning and experiments.Find out more
20 March 2024, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Collections Discovery Centre Tour
Join our Collections Team for an opportunity to explore behind the scenes in the Museum’s Collections Discovery Centre.Find out more