Costain HS2 archaeologists uncover 300-coin Iron Age hoard

Aaron Morby 5 months ago
Share

Costain archaeologists have made a once-in-a-lifetime discovery on a HS2 project site that metal detecting treasure hunters can only dream about.

Potin coins from the Iron Age Hillingdon hoard
Potin coins from the Iron Age Hillingdon hoard

A rare hoard of over 300 Iron Age coins, dating back to the 1st century BC, was discovered at the Hillingdon project site in West London after storm water revealed the stash.

The Costain Skanska joint venture site was undergoing archaeological excavation when the hoard of early coins known as potins was uncovered. The term potin refers to the base metal silver-like alloy used in coins and is typically a mixture of copper, tin and lead.

Costain’s Emma Tetlow, working as Historic Environment Lead for HS2’s main works contractor Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture said: “We were coming to the end of our archaeological work on the site when we found a patch of soil that was a very different colour from what it would be expected to be.

“The patch of soil was dark greeny-blue which suggests oxidized metal, and when we checked more closely, we could see loosely packed metal discs.  This is a once in a lifetime find and allowed us to expand our knowledge of what life could have been like in Hillingdon many centuries ago.”

Known as the ‘Hillingdon hoard’, the find dates back to a period of change as the Romans began to establish themselves in Britain.

The potins are based on coins struck in Marseille, France, about 2,175 years ago. The use of these early coins spread across northern Europe.

In England, their use was commonly linked to Kent, Essex or Hertfordshire.

The value of the hoard has not yet been determined, nor has its future location.

Under the Treasure Act, the Coroner will determine whether the find constitutes ‘treasure’ and if a museum wishes to acquire the potins and recommendations for the find will be made and a potential value placed upon it.

The hoard was found during HS2 works on land that was occupied temporarily. HS2 is not making any claim on the hoard and under the Treasure Act archaeologists are not entitled to a share of any reward.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive, said: “They say money talks so what can this unexpected discovery tell us?

“It takes us back to the tumultuous time of Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. Reaching Britain in 55 and 54 BC he observed the locals using ‘bronze’ coins, an innovation they had adopted not long before through cross-channel migration and trade.”

 

Latest news

Massive Stewart Milne development goes into administration

Countesswells new town now in hands of administrators
3 days ago

Race starts for £2.5bn Ministry of Justice framework

Frameworks cover projects up to £30m and are divided into regional lots
2 hours ago

London Uni submits North Acton high-rise tower cluster plan

Plans in for eight buildings ranging between 6-32 storeys in North Acton
2 hours ago

Galliard forms new partnership to build 850 homes

Work to start on £300m Brimingham and Ipswich developments by next spring
3 hours ago

Engineers battle to repair power network after Storm Arwen

Large sections of overhead power lines need to be rebuilt after "worst damage for 20 years"
2 hours ago

Leeds £270m Lisbon Square towers approved

Work to start in the Spring on residential and office scheme
12 hours ago

Green light for £65m canalside scheme in Wolverhamption

Construction to start next summer on transformation of brownfield site
3 hours ago

Ex-Laing O’Rourke boss to head rejigged BAM UK business

BAM names new chief for combined UK and Ireland businesses in growth push
3 days ago

Robertson submits £150m Cardiff Arena plan

Arena work to start next Autumn with wider Atlantic Wharf regen scheme to follow
3 days ago

HS2 pioneers first ‘box-slide’ bridge over motorway

BBV will start initial site preparation over the Christmas holiday period
4 days ago

Rocks smash site huts as quarry blast goes wrong

Breedon Trading Ltd fined £300,000 after court hears worker was forced to run for cover
3 days ago

Sellafield names £250m HVAC key delivery partners

Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick and EJ Parker Technical Services take first integrated team deal
4 days ago

Cut-price home builds quadruple maintenance cost

Mount Anvil study attempts to quantify link between Capex and Opex costs
3 days ago

Ray O’Rourke to step down from Group Chief Executive role

New CEO Seamus French to join from mining giant Anglo American
4 days ago

TClarke on track for £500m revenue target

Orders surge to £525m setting fresh record for M&E specialist
4 days ago

Northern contractors still reeling from rail cancellations

Firms fear "economic black hole which will have a huge impact on regional SME contractors"
4 days ago

Go-ahead for McAlpine’s £43m Edinburgh concert hall job

Work to start next year on first concert venue in Edinburgh for over 100 years
4 days ago

Miller Homes fined £200,000 for polluting dyke

Court hears details of second incident at same Huddersfield site
5 days ago

Plans in for £60m Stoke goods yard quarter

Bowmer & Kirkland are working on the scheme under a pre-construction agreement
4 days ago

Quinn Infrastructure goes into administration

Rail M&E specialist contractor stops work on sites
5 days ago

Farrans to build £30m rotating Glasgow footbridge

Steel price rises blamed for 40% jump in rotating bridge cost
5 days ago

Brickability buys renewable energy specialist

Materials distributor buys new housing green energy specialist
5 days ago

RSK swoops for Yorkshire surveying specialist

Infrastructure surveying specialist Centara employs 60 staff
5 days ago

Former Amey director takes reins at renamed SSE Contracting

Zak Houlahan to lead Enerveo from December
5 days ago

Bouygues wins £30m Swansea zero carbon office

Firm to break ground in coming weeks on The Kingsway project
5 days ago

Sisk names new UK framework director

Rebecca Hartshorn to take on Scape framework development
5 days ago

Expanded starts work on giant HS2 station box

Construction will see 690,000 cubic metres of clay removed
6 days ago

Builders slam plans for electric car chargers in all new homes

Construction firms will foot the bill while electricity companies make the profits
7 days ago

Kier set for £32m Bournemouth council flats job

Work to start next year on four blocks of flats rising to 10 storeys
6 days ago

Severfield rises with record orders after strong first half

Orders soar to nearly £400m after Everton stadium award, shed and HS2 wins
6 days ago

Contractor services