Tetbury Coin Hoard

Corinium Museum

Corinium Museum

Two pots, one of them containing 1437 3rd century Roman coins were discovered in 2010 on farmland near Tetbury. The coins are radiates, named after the crown worn by the emperors shown on the coins. They range in date from AD 260s - 280s. The silver content of the Tetbury hoard coins varies greatly. This is because in the 3rd century, the silver content of radiates dropped from around 50 per cent to as little as 1 per cent. Radiates were common until Diocletian’s reforms of AD 294 - 6. The largest concentration of coin hoards from Britain is in the second half of the 3rd century AD. Over 600 coin hoards are known – the largest number from any period of British history. This was a period of political upheaval across the Empire with a rapid succession of rulers and usurpers. At least 12 emperors are represented in the hoard out of a total of 21 who ruled over just a 20-year period. These include rulers of both the Central Empire and the breakaway Gallic Empire (Britain, Gaul, Germany, Spain), founded by rebel general Postumus in AD 260. The Gallic Empire was eventually re-conquered in AD 274 by Aurelian. The possible reasons for hoarding and burying coins are many. Some hoards may have been deliberately buried at times of unrest for safekeeping but with every intention of recovery. Others may have been buried as ritual offerings, perhaps the wealth of a farming community deposited over centuries, as insurance for a good harvest or good weather.

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  • Title: Tetbury Coin Hoard
  • Location: Cirencester