Museum to showcase Roman treasure hoards

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The Knutsford Hoard's 'gilt trumpet brooches'. Pic © Museum of Liverpool

The Knutsford Hoard’s ‘gilt trumpet brooches’. Pic © Museum of Liverpool

Two collections of Roman treasure have gone on public display for the first time at the Museum of Liverpool.

The Cheshire Hoards, which is the collective name of the two groups of Roman artefacts, will be on display until the June 19th 2016.

They were discovered in recent years by local metal detectorists and they date back as far as 32BC.

The Knutsford Hoard was found in 2012 by detectorist Alan Bates and includes jewellery items, most notably the three gilt ‘trumpet’ brooches, named after their open circular ends. These objects were sometimes associated with the Roman army.

The hoard also includes two finger rings, made from cast silver with decorative stone settings, possibly used as a letter sealers. More than 100 coins, which were issued between 32BC to the late 2nd Century AD, are also included.

The Malpas Hoard was found in 2014 during a metal detecting rally, and is thought to have been buried in the mid-1st Century AD. The hoard contains a mixture of 35 Iron Age and Roman coins, which is unusual as these coins are usually found in Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.

Liz Stewart, Curator of Archaeology and the Historic Environment at the Museum of Liverpool, said: “These two hoards provide fascinating evidence about the wealth, trade, lifestyles and identities of people in the North West in the early Roman period.

“It’s very special to be able to acquire and display these items for the region and to explore the long history of the area with our visitors.”

The hoards have undergone conservation work, specialist identification and analysis, and have been prepared for display.

The exhibition of the hoards has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the head of the fund, Sara Hilton, has urged local people to “take this opportunity to get inspired and delve into this history”.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see these two important hoards on display to the public for the first time. They reveal so much about the way our ancestors lived and how the community around here developed into what it is today.”

To celebrate the first public display of the Cheshire Hoards, the Museum of Liverpool is hosting a free public conference on February 27th from 10am to 5pm which will feature expert speakers from across the UK.

About Callum Smyth, JMU Journalism