In various papers this morning, details of a late Roman and Pictish silver hoard found in Aberdeenshire. From the press release on Past Horizons:
Archaeologists from National Museums Scotland and the University of Aberdeen’s Northern Picts project have unearthed a hoard of Late Roman and Pictish silver buried in a field in Aberdeenshire (northeast Scotland). The exciting find contains over 100 pieces of hacked-up silver, coins and jewellery. This important discovery is the most northern Late Roman hacksilver hoard to be found in Europe.
Gordon Noble, senior lecturer in the department of archaeology at Aberdeen who led the fieldwork as part of the University’s Northern Picts project, is quoted:
"This exciting new find is part of a broader phenomenon of hacksilver hoards which stretch across Europe from the 4th to 6th centuries AD, when the Western Roman Empire was in decline. Silver objects were chopped up into bullion and then used and exchanged as payment, bribes, tribute and reward. People buried their wealth to keep it safe, but many did not return to recover their hoard.
“The new finds include late Roman coins, pieces of late Roman silver vessels, bracelet and brooch fragments and other objects that would have been highly prized objects in their day. Our work in north-east Scotland is increasingly showing that Pictish communities in this area were part of powerful kingdoms in the early medieval period."