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News: UK
Gold coin bearing image of Emperor Nero (1st c. AD). Vindolanda, UK. 4th c. level.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Nero coin found at Vindolanda

The first coin of gold ever discovered at the site

Nero coin of gold was found at the remains of the Roman fort of Vindolanda at Northumberland by French volunteer excavator.

This is a brief descrpition of the rare discovery that took place during the latest dig season at the Roman fort of Vindolanda, within the Hadrian Wall greater area, in modern Northumberland, UK. The coin, the only golden one ever found in the site was the perfect find to finish an excavation season which is considered as a milestone in Hadrian Wall-related archaeological activity.

The gold coin was located in the site’s 4th century stratum by Marcel Albert, a Frenchman who volunteers at the dig for six years. It is descrived as “well-worn” and has been identified with an aureus, which used to equal half a year’s salary for a Roman soldier. The image of the infamous Emperor Nero dates the coin to around AD 64 or 65 and, in connection to the stratum it was found, it seems that before it gets lost, the coin was in circulation for more than 300 years!

“My first find at Vindolanda nearly 20 years ago was a coin, but because of their scarcity I didn’t think for a moment that I would ever see a gold coin unearthed at the site,” says Justin Blake, the Deputy Director of Excavations at the Vindolanda Trust. At any case, the site is mostly known for a set of writing tablets which reveal aspects of everyday activity at the fort.

NOTES
1. Culture 24, http://tinyurl.com/plz5svz (19/06/2014)