The Society's seal and three photographs

Dinnington Hoard appeal

Help us buy the Dinnington Hoard

We are launching an appeal among members to help us buy the Dinnington Hoard of Roman silver and gold coins and a brooch. There are several ways to donate; go via  our MyDonate page, send a cheque to the office made out to SANT (Dinnington), or donate via Paypal. The most valuable coin is a gold aureus from the time of emperor Vitellius, who reigned for only 8 months in AD69.

All contributions, large or small will be gratefully received.

Background

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.
 
As we are the only organisation in the region in a position to buy items which have been declared Treasure Trove, the Hoard will almost certainly leave the North East if we cannot raise the purchase price of  £20,050. 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.

We hope that the Hoard will go on show in the Great North Museum if it can be purchased, along with some of our other recent Treasure acquisitions (bought with the help of a generous bequest from our late memebr Margaret Fleming).

 

In the future, don’t forget your past