The discovery prompted a full-scale excavation of the site. For the first time, the National Trust enlisted the help of wounded ex-soldiers returning from Afghanistan to assist with the excavation.
That's fantastic. These brave men, some of whom are traumatized, need interesting occupations after their stint in war-torn areas.
The Corieltauvi tribe, which has many different spellings, controlled most of the East Midlands and the whole of Lincolnshire in the Late Iron Age (100 BC-AD 50). The largely agricultural society didn't have strongly defended sites and appear to have been a federation of small, self-governing tribal groups. From the beginning of the 1st century, they began to produce inscribed coins.
Coins were used more as a symbol of power and status during the Late Iron Age, rather than for buying and selling staple foods and supplies.
The cache has been declared as treasure.
I love the idea of ancient treasure. In fact, I use the lure in the plot of my Moonstone series. Liliha inherited her moonstone ring, but when it's stolen, the police pass the ring to experts to have it valued. After the item has been passed on, the British Museum send a letter to her, requesting an interview. Here's an excerpt from Still Rock Water:
Ted cut in. “Now, as to ownership. You probably know there's an extensive Egyptian section here. We are anxious to add this ring to the collection.”
The two men gazed at her with fixed expressions.
“I'm sure you are.” Liliha straightened, ready for the most important battle of her life.
“It belongs with the other artifacts from this period,” Ted said. “The public will be very interested.”
Liliha didn't hesitate, although her voice trembled. “I showed my proof of ownership to the police. It's been in my family for some time.”
“The police have passed on the information from your recorded valuation.” Ted stood with gravity and glared down at her. “As you've probably worked out, the ring is priceless. It will make a welcome addition to our collection."
She jumped to her feet. “It's priceless to me, too.”
“As a historical piece, the ring should remain in the museum.”
Ted paced over to the window. “I'm sure you could be recompensed from the Historical Resources Fund.”
“This isn't a treasure dug up from a field. It's a ring, which has been passed down in my family in Cornwall over the generations.” Her whole body quivered.
“We are aware of that.” Brent leaned back. “The money we could offer would far outweigh the monetary or sentimental value.”
“I'm not interested in the money. The ring's place is with me, and that's where it will stay.”
“As you say,” Ted said, “it does belong to you legally.”
Liliha said, “From now on, I'll make sure it's safe. Thank you for telling me about it, but it's mine.” Her heart beat loud in her ears as she reached for her ring.
She signed a receipt the reluctant men handed over. When she stood to go, Brent hesitated, and then got to his feet. With great dignity, she shook their hands.