Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
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We are currently trying to raise £20,050 to buy the Dinnington Hoard, which was found when a pond was being dug on private property at Dinnington, 9 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne. The Hoard consists of one aureus of Vitellius (AD 69) and six silver denarii dating from 32-31 BC to AD 81-96. The aureus is in remarkably good condition. No trace was found of a container and this suggests the coins were in a leather or cloth bag.
The date of the coins implies that the Hoard was dropped or deposited around the time of the Agricolan advance into Scotland. Dinnington lies in a direct line north from the ford crossing the River Tyne near the Hadrianic fort of Benwell. This was the first safe crossing place of the river before the Roman bridge (Pons Aelius) was built at Newcastle upon Tyne and it is presumed that this ford was used during Agricola’s sorties north.
The gold aureus is a rare issue. Vitellius was emperor for only eight months and, unusually, the coin depicts Vitellius’s children on the reverse. Gold coins of Roman date are very rare finds in the Military Zone . They were also used to pay bonuses to soldiers on the accession of a new emperor, in this case possibly the accession of Domitian.
We have been successful in raising £8,000 from the V & A Purchase Fund and currently have an application pending for this to be matched by the Hedley Museums Archaeological Acquisitions Scheme.
If you would like to donate to our Collection Fund, for the purchase of the Dinnington Hoard we would be very grateful. The Society is the only organization in the region that is regularly able to buy items which have gone through the Treasure Trove process. However, we can only continue to ensure these important heritage objects are kept in the North of England for display and study by receiving financial contributions.
Charity No: 230888
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