1500-year-old Anglo Saxon coins unearthed by treasure hunter in UK

1500-year-old Anglo Saxon coins unearthed by treasure hunter in UK

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Ancient 1000-year-old coins from the Dark Ages found by a metal detectorist in a field near Chelmsford could be worth £10,000

A treasure hunter has discovered a haul of ancient gold coins, believed to have been buried nearly 1,500 years ago by an Anglo-Saxon king.

After spending four days searching for a 1,600 sq m field in Chelmsford, Essex, Chris Kutler, 54, stumbled upon the coins.

Two or more coins from the same find, at least 300 years old can be classified as treasure

The hoard has now been sent for analysis and valuation to the British Museum, but it’s thought that it might be worth up to £ 10,000 ($ 13,000).

Mr Kutler said: ‘It is kind of the Holy Grail of metal detectoring. It was an incredible feeling to find the coins.

‘When I found the first, I thought it was a wasp.

‘I got a flash of yellow and threw it back but then I realised what it was.

‘It was the best feeling in the world, especially after four days of hard work.’

The gold coins are much smaller than the coins we use today

Mr Kutler, who has been metal detectoring for more than 25 years, also found rare Anglo-Saxon coins at the same site 18 years ago, which are now housed at the British Museum.

He chose to go back after reading an article which suggested more coins would be still in the ground.

Mr Kutler said: ‘I decided to rake the top soil off and get down to the compact soil [underneath], and scanned the area off in 100 square metres, and did every one individually.

Chris Kutler, 54, who found gold coins in a field in Chelmsford, Essex

‘I thought I really need to do it because this is the last time I am going to do it. I needed to go back.

‘I have already been back and searched the area thoroughly and nothing has come up.’

The coins are from the Dark Ages, around 620-640AD, and are classed as a hoard, which is usually associated with high status, or even Royal burials.

Mr Kutler said: ‘I started collected data about place names, I would locate the name of the place, and field names often indicate archaeological activity.

The farm field was 1600 square metres and Kutler searched it thoroughly himself

‘If you find one coin there are probably many.’

The coins, called Tremissis, that Mr Kutler found earlier this month and nearly twenty years ago were used by the Merovingians who ruled over what we know as France today, and also beyond towards Saxony.

According to law, treasure is ‘two or more coins from the same find, at least 300 years old, and contain at least 10 per cent gold.’

It will take up to a year for the British Museum to complete their assessment of the coins.

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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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