In 2016 a metal detectorist who has worked the area for 30 years,
made a discovery of a hoard of 10 gold coins in the parish of
Chiddingstone. As they were subject to the Treasure Act 1996
they were sent to the British Museum for assessment. They verified
them as Iron Age Gallo-Belgic E staters c60-50 BCE (BC)
As the accredited local history museum, the Eden Valley Museum
was approached to see whether we would be willing to help to
keep them in the Valley where they had lain hidden for over
2,000 years. They have added a fascinating chapter in our knowledge
of the history of the Eden Valley showing a direct link between
the people of the Eden Valley and the momentous events in European
history in the Iron Age.
Where did they come from? The coins were minted in Gaul (Northern
France and Belgium) by the Ambiani tribe. In 58 BCE Gaul was
under threat of invasion by Julius Caesar and the Roman army.
The local tribes formed an alliance to fight the Roman invasions.
They minted a large number of these coins to use as gifts to
mercenaries and to forge allegiances. Such coins have been found
throughout the South East of England but usually as individual
finds. It is extremely rare to find a hoard.
What are they doing here? British warriors are known to have
fought alongside the Gauls in their war against Roman occupation.
Kent had a long history of close alliance with the Gauls, who
were said to have traded, settled and intermarried in Kent.
Gaulish warriors are said to have taken refuge in Kent at the
end of the war. It is possible that local warriors were returning
from the war with these coins as gifts. These coins could have
been marriage gifts or gifts to the local tribal leaders. It
is unlikely that such coins were used in trade.
Why were they buried? There is a long tradition dating from
the Bronze Age and continuing well into the Roman period of
precious metal objects placed in the ground as some form of
votive offering to the gods. Perhaps these coins were part of
that tradition? Julius Caesar landed in North East Kent in 55
and 54 BCE. These were troubled times. Perhaps they were buried
to keep them safe?
10 Gold Iron Age Gallo-Belgic staters c 60-50 BC
Please help us to purchase and display this recently discovered
rare hoard of gold Iron Age coins which has been hidden in the
Eden Valley for over 2000 years.
Donations to support our fundraising campaign can be made via
our website, www.evmt.org.uk or alternatively, paid by cash
or cheque at the Museum.